For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Mid-State instructor who spearheaded the Wisconsin Rapids Peach Street Farmers Market in 2015 presented her research findings with other health professionals at the 24th National Evidence-Based Practice Conference hosted by the University of Iowa, on April 25–28.
Dr. Carrie Engelbright, Health & Wellness Promotion instructor, will highlight data from the first two years of the nonprofit farmers market and the community’s role in helping to launch and sustain it as a food desert solution.
Since its inception, the Peach Street Farmers Market aimed to increase access to fresh, local produce and combat food desert conditions in Wisconsin Rapids by providing increased access to fresh, affordable food items. The project was funded in part by a grant from Aspirus™ Doctors Clinic and the Incourage Community Foundation. Key support also came from the Wood County Health Department, local farmers and residents of the community.
“The USDA defines food deserts as areas that exhibit low access to fresh and affordable foods in combination with a certain percentage of the population that is considered to be low income,” explained Engelbright. “There are more than 6,500 such areas in the US that fit the definition and suffer the negative health effects that result from it, and it’s gratifying to see that my research on a community-driven solution may help others across the nation.”
“Aspirus decided to help fund the Peach Street Farmers Market two years ago because it fits our mission to support local farmers and small business owners in the community,” said Kathleen Arendt, southern regional director of Aspirus Clinic, Inc. “We’re proud to see this innovative project and Dr. Engelbright’s work have such a positive impact in the community.”
Engelbright’s food desert research is also of interest to The National Wellness Institute in Stevens Point, who has asked her to submit a paper on the topic.
The Peach Street Farmers Market will be open this summer on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., June 13 to August 29 (closed July 4), at 2031 Peach Street in Wisconsin Rapids. Great Expectations will offer lunch each market day, and a calendar of family-friendly events will be posted soon on the market’s Facebook page, @PeachSt.FarmersMarket.