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WVU Extension documentary highlights life-changing power of fresh fruits and vegetables

FARMacy participant Chad Eanes looks through a box of produce. Eanes is featured in a documentary about the food access program.
FARMacy participant Chad Eanes looks through a box of produce. Eanes is featured in a documentary about the food access program.


Walter Eanes didn’t know he was sick. But one day, while riding in his son Chad’s truck, he felt compelled to detail his last wishes. They were simple. He did not want a wake or funeral. He just wanted his ashes scattered at his favorite hunting spot.

“He told me, whatever I do, to make sure I do what he wants,” Chad Eanes said. “I promised him I would.”

A few months later, in December 2020, Walter was gone and it was time for his son to honor his promise — and he couldn’t. He suffered from several chronic conditions, including stage four kidney disease, and there was no way he could make the two-and-a-half-mile hike. ATVs were out of the question because the hunting spot is located along the Appalachian Trail. No one else in the family could make the journey either, so they made plans to lay Walter Eanes to rest on the family farm. 

“And I said ‘No,’” Chad remembered. “I will get healthy and get in shape so I can get my daddy up the hill.”

That’s exactly what he did, with the help of the FARMACY Program. Chad’s health journey is featured in a short documentary about the program, produced by the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program. 

It is available online now — click here to watch.


FARMacy is a weekly program that connects food-insecure patients with chronic diet-related diseases with fresh, healthy, locally grown food. Doctors write a “prescription” entitling patients to free weekly bags of fruits and vegetables from pop-up farmers markets held at their doctor’s office or clinic. Family Nutrition Program educators provide taste-tests, recipe demonstrations, recipe handouts, opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education classes.

“These folks’ stories demonstrate the powerful impact FARMacy has had on their health,” Gina Wood, extension specialist with the Family Nutrition Program, said. “FARMacy strives to help improve the lives of our friends and neighbors by increasing access to fresh produce while helping to grow our state’s food economy by supporting the local growers who supply our fruits and vegetables.” 

The Family Nutrition Program is supporting 25 FARMacy programs in 22 counties in 2022.

“Our goal is to get it in every clinic in the state of West Virginia,” Dr. Carol Antonelli-Greco, co-founder of West Virginia’s original FARMacy program, said. “And to persuade the legislature of West Virginia that it is a program that would benefit the health of all West Virginians. Obviously, funding is the limiting reagent.”

Greco features prominently in the documentary, explaining how and why the FARMacy program works.

“When you look at a medication and you look at the package for a medication, it always says ‘Use this medication if diet and lifestyle changes have not worked.’ In our medical society, we don't do that first.”

The 18-minute documentary was directed and produced by Zack Harold, multimedia specialist for the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program.

WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s work is supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

-WVU-


 zrh/09/08/22

CONTACT:

Zack Harold

Multimedia Specialist

WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program

304.550.2186; zackary.harold@mail.wvu.edu

 

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