Market Walk, Eat, Shop, TalkHealthy Living
CHW partnered with Mercer’s School of Medicine to create and hold unique awareness events at the Mulberry Market to bring awareness to the availability of healthy food and its benefits. The Market Walk, Eat, Shop, Talk initiative, engages nearby Alexander II Math and Science Magnet School student, teacher, and their families in promoting health and wellness.
During these specially scheduled market dates, stations are set up throughout the market to allow kids and parents to partake in physical activity, eat a healthy snack, receive a $2 shopping voucher for produce, and talk to medical students/professional about healthy living.
“A lot of people don’t realize the market is here,” Third-year medical student Ashley McNeal said. “Families can get produce for cheap and meat for cheap. I wanted to try to make those connections for people so they see that they do have other options for food and to give them an opportunity to live healthy.”
Mercer has also recently began involving undergraduate students and marriage and family therapy graduate students, to volunteer to host different activities for kids in the community.
Dr. Keisha Callins, Joy McCann Endowed Professor and OB/GYN for Community Health Care Systems, serves as MUSM faculty mentor for this initiative. She said the market’s location near Mercer and Alexander II make the community engagement aspect extremely successful.
“It really is a unique concept to connect these three entities already located in the same area,” said Dr. Callins. “It is an amazing opportunity for parents to pick their kids up, come over, do an activity, shop and engage with future healthcare providers.”
“I hope that the program will keep growing,” McNeal said. “It’s been really nice to put the project in the hands of Alex II and to see how they’ve really taken it on. I hope that we can continue passing it down to medical students and undergrad students and really get people involved.”