A block party in downtown Hamilton this week connected clients of the Butler County WIC program with several activities and services focused on healthy living.
Butler County dipped slightly in the County Health Rankings released in April, mostly because of upticks to drug overdoses, adult obesity and adult smoking.
The county dropped four spots from last year to 48 out of 88 counties in the state, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Cindy Meale of WIC, said the block party — sponsored by Primary Health Solutions and Butler County WIC — allows farmers and her program’s clients to connect in a special way.
“We have special farmer’s market nutrition program vouchers for our participants so that they can purchase healthy, fresh produce and learn how to shop at a farmer’s market,” Meale said. “We love it also because it benefits our local farmers as well. Our clients may not have transportation to get to a regular farmer’s market so we brought the farmers to them today.”
Tushar Thakor, 42, made the trip from Fairfield to participate in the block party and he said the event helped him and his family learn about nutrition as well as how to seek out healthy food.
“We can come here as one family and find out about all of these things,” he said.
Eric and Deborah Beard brought their Bethel Lane Farms produce to the block party and feel that the event makes a difference in shining a light on healthy eating.
“We believe in healthy nutritious pesticide free kinds of vegetables and this gives us a very good market to sell those items,” Deborah said. “This program helps moms and kids and we think anything we can do to support that and healthy communities is a privilege to be a part of.
Ronda Croucher, vice-president of community engagement for Primary Health Solutions, said the event helped clients gain an understanding about how to seek out better food and learn how to prepare it.
“This event gives people a chance to get free samples of healthy food that they may not have had before,” she said. “The cooking demonstration showed people how easy it is to prepare healthy dishes.”