Today, FAITH CDC (Families Anchored in Total Harmony, Inc.) hosted a press conference to highlight a $500,000 grant that the organization received from USDA to develop a FAITH Food Is Medicine (FFIM) program in Gary.
“These funds will allow us to use fresh produce to battle against heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other ailments that impact communities of color,” said Pastor Curtis Whittaker, Founder of FAITH CDC.
Whittaker went on to add that the program aims to not only raise the amount of fresh produce grown, but the amount of Gary residents consuming healthy food, which can ultimately reducing hospital utilization and costs.
A host of community leaders and partners gathered at the 656 Carolina St. in Gary to lend their voices of support to the new initiative. Among those offering remarks were the following individuals:
U.S. Congressman Frank J. Mrvan
Joy Holliday representing Gary Mayor Jerome Prince
Gary Common Council President William Godwin
Kelly Anoe, Legacy Foundation
Victor Garcia, Foodbank of NWI
Lake County Commissioner Kyle Allen
Matt Doyle, President/CEO Methodist Hospitals
Dr. Winifred Oniah, Methodist Hospital
Dr. Roland Walker, City of Gary Health Commissioner
Dr. Ellen Szarleta, Indiana University Northwest
Professor Frank Nierzwicki – Indiana University Bloomington
Pastor Curtis Whittaker, FAITH Farms & Orchard
Whittaker emphasized that more funds will be needed to sustain and grown the programs of FAITH Farms.
“Our goal is to raise up to $10 million and create a food hub right here in Gary, Indiana,” said Whittaker.
View the entire press conference on the Faith Farms CDC Facebook page or here: https://youtu.be/XtPpjEkqPU8.