Gardening helps this Aeon community come together
There’s no question that eating your fruits and veggies is important to stay healthy. But what happens when healthy food is out of reach? For people with very-low income, buying fresh produce and staying healthy can seem like a luxury when their limited funds also have to cover rent, clothes, and medical bills. At Parkview Villa, Aeon’s home for senior and low-income individuals, lack of healthy, affordable food in the community has been a growing concern. Staff and residents decided to take action with a new healthy eating program: Full Circle.
The Full Circle program, generously funded by Allina Health, is an educational program that focuses on residents’ health and well-being. Through the grant, Parkview Villa secured a master gardener to teach residents professional courses on how to maintain their food and flower gardens. The program also includes onsite cooking and nutrition classes that incorporate the different vegetables grown in their garden.
Participants of the Full Circle program appreciate having more access to healthy, affordable foods. Also important is their ability to get to know their neighbors and find community within Parkview Villa. Pink, a resident participating in the program, shares that she wasn’t very social before the garden started. But the program gave her a reason to become more engaged with her neighbors and now, thanks to this community-building activity, she has valuable friendships close to Home.
“It is inspiring to see our residents come together to Full Circle this year. Residents have planted veggies and flowers all around the building, creating warmth and that ‘Home sweet Home’ feeling at Parkview. It’s also exciting to see our residents helping each other take care of assigned plots and truly connect with one another.”- Mary Ann Prado, Resident Connections Coordinator at Aeon.
Full Circle program participants are excited to continue their garden education this year and share the fresh foods they grow with the rest of the Parkview Villa community. If you’d like to support programs like Full Circle, consider making a donation at www.AeonMN.org/donate.