Live Well Geary County strives to improve community health

Pictured, left to right: Don Manley, President of the JC Breakfast Optimist Club; Susan Jagerson, Director and Grants Coordinator of Live Well Geary County; Kalli Brownlee, Director of WIC and Farmer’s Market.

By Dr. Ferrell Miller

Susan Jagerson, Director and Grants Coordinator of Live Well Geary County and Kalli Brownlee, Director of WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Manager of Farmer’s Marker, were guest speakers at the weekly meeting of the JC Breakfast Optimist Club in Junction City.

Jagerson shared that “Live Well Geary County (LWGC) develops dynamic, community-based strategies to improve the health of residents. LWGC was founded in response to a call for coordinated countywide action among health and wellness stakeholders. Together, we work to fill gaps in services and resources so that there are healthy choices where residents live, learn, work and play.

Jagerson also shared some Geary County stats. “Geary County is one of the least healthy counties in Kansas, but it’s improving. Twenty-four is the average age of the county’s population; there is 11.7% poverty; 34.5% are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); there is an obesity rate of 39% and access to grocery stores where one can buy quality/healthy foods is limited. »

The LWGC Food Policy Council received an implementation grant from Pathways to engage new business advisors in developing a food system plan for the county. The 10-year plan provides a comprehensive approach to food system efforts – identifying policy solutions that influence how food is produced and consumed.

LWGC has partnered with 12th Street Community Center, Delivering Change, Dorothy Bramlage Public Library, ICARUS, Town of Junction City, Geary County, faith-based organizations and others. “An example of one of these partnerships includes the 12th St. Community Garden run by Vicky Bobbitt and the ICARE organization, which also works with Jobs For America’s Graduates (JAG) and Bicentennial Manor. For $350, the public can adopt a bed from the 12th Street Community Garden, which can be maintained by the adoptee or a designated person,” Jagerson said.

Jagerson also told Optimists that “85 to 100 meals are served to seniors on Mondays at the Larry Dixon Center on West Sixth Street. Meals can be eat in, take away or delivered. »

Kalli Brownlee said “The Farmer’s Market is held every Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the JC Naz parking lot on South Washington Street. Vendors have set up to sell healthy foods and vegetables. The SNAP program is in place for those who are eligible. Kalli and others have recipes available and recommendations on how to cook and use fresh fruits and vegetables so that items are used in a timely and healthy way.

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