LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -The City of Lawton has a new committee that is aiming to help our community through healthy eating.
This month, the The City of Lawton’s Healthy Food Retail Task Force kicked off its first initiative, the "Buy 2 Give 1″ project.
The projects goal is to invite the community to help fellow residents attain fresh produce.
“People can purchase, we hope, a couple or a few extra produce items while they’re shopping and then take them to one of those locations where they’ll be given out,” said Debra Johnson, TSET Grant Manager.
The task force committee was assembled by the Lawton City Council.
“There’s so many different components to it, so I think that them identifying and recognizing that fresh produce and health is such a big part of our community, I’m very excited, as well,” said Melissa Griego-Kastner, Healthy Food Retail Task Force.
Johnson said after collecting data regarding grocery store proximity to residents in Lawton, the task force discovered what they call a “food desert area.”
“We had a map put together of about a one mile radius of where our local grocery stores or other stores that offer produce are, and we really did see some spots where there are kind of a food desert area. And with our population, that’s about a one mile walk ability radius, and that’s where we thought, well let’s start bringing more access to people where they may not be able to walk or have transportation to get to those items," said Johnson.
With the “Buy 2 Give 1” project, the fresh produce donations will be collected and donated to to organizations like the Salvation Army, Hungry Hearts Feeding Ministry, and the C. Carter Crane Shelter.
“The major way it’s going to benefit us is that we won’t have to spend the money on as much produce. We spend anywhere from $75-$100 a week on produce for our clients, especially when we have a full house So that’s going to be used a lot, and it will be used daily," said Edith McKinley, Director of C.Carter Crane.
All kinds of fresh produce are requested for the “Buy 2 Give 1” project.
A full list of donation spots, and more information, can be found on the City of Lawton’s Facebook page.
Johnson says they currently do not have any pick up locations on the west side of Lawton.
If you’re interested in being a donation site, contact Debra Johnson at the Comanche County Health Department.