Client response to Diabetes Program:
The IFPO was one of seven agencies for the just completed first round of “Food, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes” ("FHH"), co-sponsored by the Community Foodbank and Summit Medical Group Foundation. Clients were informally interviewed at the completion of the FHH food distributions to gauge the programs’ impact on their lives.
Clients were uniformly complementary about the FHH program, repeatedly using the word "excellent" to describe the program. Clients often said they are now eating more vegetables and walking more. They were told that, although the food distribution of the FHH program is now over, they are still able to participate in client choice, where the IFPO provides many healthy options, like fresh eggs, Aerofarm greens and other produce, as well as SFPP produce and the Farmer's Market of Produce at the end of the month.
One client said she only learned that she was diabetic because she was tested at the IFPO! Her A1C level (a test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months) went from a 14 when first tested to a 6.5* at last check. Her new routine involves exercising, eating grains and a different, better diet, and drinking "okra water".
One of our workers has been diabetic for over 20 years. He said that he really enjoyed the program, which reinforced a lot of what he knew, but truly made him aware of the importance of eating healthy and of taking his meds. He started the program with an A1C of 13, and it is now down to a normal, non-diabetic reading of 5.1! He now drinks a lot of water, eats soup when he is hungry to fill up, drinks milk when he wants something sweet. He now stays away from orange juice and sweets, and said he is in the best health he has been in for years.
A client said the she learned that when you follow the program, it works. Although she is Haitian, she no longer eats rice, a cultural staple, because she now knows that it is bad for her health. She's eating salad and no cake! She's drinking water instead of soda. Another client, who had a kidney transplant five years ago, said the program taught her now to take care of herself, particularly with exercise and portion control. Another client said she now doesn't eat snacks, junk food, starches or bread. She has lost 10 pounds, and is determined to get skinny!
We're very grateful that we were able, with the help of the Community FoodBank and Summit Medical Group Foundation, to have such a profound impact on the health of our clients.
*The American Diabetes Association recommends a target level under 7 for most adults.