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What is Pitt County Food Finder?

Kolasa, Kathy
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Kathy Kolasa

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Q: Can you share information about the new Pitt County Food Finder? KC, Greenville

A: I was delighted to learn about this new product from the Pitt County Farm and Food Council. Radhika Kothadia, Brody Medical student, checked out their new APP an this is what she wants you to know.

Right before Christmas, the Pitt County Farm and Food Council launched an APP called “Pitt County Food Finder.” The APP uses your location to connect you with healthy food options at community gardens, food pantries, farmer’s markets and farms. “Food Finder” is a new way to eat healthy while saving money.

The purpose of the APP is to offer healthy food choices to all citizens of Pitt County regardless of geographic location and financial status. This APP has the potential of creating a healthier next generation, protecting farmland and ensuring that no Pitt County native goes hungry.

For those of you who are not technologically savvy, like myself, I am here to assure you that the APP is very user friendly and easy to navigate. It is available for free on both the Apple App store and Google Play. The main screen has three buttons that guide you to finding food, learning more about the Pitt County Farm & Food Council, or volunteering for the organization.

Let me tell you more about the finding food portion, but I encourage everyone to donate time, produce, or other food items if they have the means. Several organizations and churches need Spanish-speaking volunteers and produce donations to ensure that their programs continue to meet the needs of our community.

The “find food” button allows you to explore community gardens, farmer’s markets, food pantries, meals, classes and produce donation sites. After choosing a specific category that you’re interested in, you get an overview on the various churches or organizations that offer that service. For example, if you want to learn about local farmer’s markets, you could click that button and see how many miles each farmers market is from your current location, what services or products are offered, hours of operation and any additional information you should know before going to that location. The APP also provides you with contact information in case you have any questions you’d like to ask before going to the location.

After playing with Food Finder for a month, I wanted to share some of my favorite features of the APP. The food and farming classes are unique opportunities to learn about what we put into our bodies, how we can make small changes to help our environment and how important nutrition is for our overall health. Several of the classes are for free and provide fresh groceries for participants, while some require a weekly volunteering commitment. If you are looking to eat healthier or cook healthier meals for your family but don’t know where to begin, this could be a wonderful opportunity to learn the basics. All experience levels are welcome.

Another feature of the APP that I found particularly interesting were the community gardens. Two gardens allow volunteers to take home what they grow and donates the leftovers to a local church. Another allows you to give a small rental fee for a plot of land to grow your own produce on. These gardens are a special way to give back to your community through farming and learn how to grow your own food. It can be a fun family event that teaches kids responsibility, where their food comes from, and that hard work reaps sweet rewards.

The Pitt County Food Finder is an innovative app that can help you and your family eat healthier, fresher, and cheaper, all while improving the community you live in. Check it out and continue 2019 on a nutritious note.

Professor emeritus Kathy Kolasa, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Ph.D., is an affiliate professor in the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. Contact her at kolasaka@ecu.edu.

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