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Pat Taylor Braxton discovered Fresh Food Share while bringing her 85-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer’s, to Hannan House in Detroit for social activities.
Braxton, a Detroit resident and retired schoolteacher on a fixed income, says Fresh Food Share helps her to provide a healthy diet to her ailing mother and, importantly, to herself: A diagnosis of cardiovascular disease has prompted Braxton to shed 150 pounds so far.
“The program has benefitted me tremendously, and because I’m a caregiver – I cook for my mom and have to guarantee she gets five to nine fresh fruits and vegetables a day,” she says. “I spend $24 and I have something I can use, sometimes until the end of the month.”
A large box provides 28-33 pounds of fresh produce for $24; a small box provides 18-23 pounds for $14 (participants may use SNAP benefits to purchase a box). Each box comes with a monthly newsletter that includes recipes and nutritional information.
“The food lasts for a very long time, which tells you how fresh it is,” Braxton says.
Braxton’s enthusiasm for the program led her to begin volunteering to help distribute boxes at Hannan House. She now sends information about the program to people she knows who could benefit.
“When I was five years old, the first McDonald’s opened in Detroit,” she says. “In the 50s we used to eat real food and McDonald’s was a treat. Now people use McDonald’s as a staple and it’s a treat when you cook. I’m trying to reverse that.”
Learn more about Fresh Food Share here.