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BCCC encourages healthy eating with community gardens

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CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WNCT) — "Salad, collards, tomatoes, watermelon, pepper, okra," said Lucy Harper, a Beaufort County gardener.

These are just a few things growing in the Harper's backyard, a garden that has recently become a "community garden".

"It’s that old saying, many hands make light work,” said Julie Crippen, director of special projects and grant writer for BCCC. “And that's what happens in a community garden. Everyone benefits from a few hours of work."

It's a way for people in Beaufort County to get involved in local agriculture while making healthy food changes.

"If 95% of our foods were plant based, we would be healthier people," said Bill Booth, coordinator for “Healthy Eating Community Outreach”.

It’s all a part of Beaufort County Community's College "Beaufitt" initiative, working to encourage an active lifestyle.

"Our goal is not only for the college community, our students and staff,” said Julie Crippen, director of special projects and grant writer. “But the community surrounding in the region would have some health indicator changes so as healthy eating, lowering the chance of cancer, diabetes and all of that."

Beaufort County Community College already had the exercising in place, now they needed the healthy eating which all sprouted the community gardens.

"One of the needs we identified through that is there is a disconnect between people eating healthy and people exercising,” said Crippen. “They can exercise a lot but then the health outcomes weren't changing."

So they kick started the health eating community outreach, a grant-funded program through the Kate B. Reynolds charitable trust, which pays for things such as equipment and seeds.

"You feel better; you're excited about getting up,” said Booth. “You don't have to do with the aches and pains and stuff. It's a good thing."

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