hat tip-The Grio.com

Urban ‘victory garden’ is win-win for seniors with health problems
By Todd Johnson
8:53 AM on 09/06/2010

At 73 years old, Marguerite Alston can now garden with the best of them.

Alston and a group of seniors have rededicated their lives to regular exercise and healthy eating–and are learning to create their own diet plans right from the ground up.

“It’s wonderful to say, ‘We planted that,’” said Alston, who lives in Brooklyn. “We get out there and water and grow what we can.”

The seniors are clients of BedStuy Campaign Against Hunger, a food pantry which received grant money from the United Way to start this urban farming initiative.

“We had quite a few seniors [participate]” said Melony Samuels, the pantry’s executive director. “[They're] not just exercising, but they’re enjoying what they’re doing. And they’re seeing results.”

The majority of the clients are African-American, many of whom suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure. The program, dubbed “Victory Garden,” not only has the seniors gardening and learning to eat healthier, it helps track their medical information such as their weight and blood pressure levels.

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