Today I have a special guest on the blog, Cousin T’s daughter Ashleigh. Ashleigh is going to tell you about her Nursing Class project.
I will start by introducing what it is I am doing. I’m a Registered Nurse (RN) taking online classes through the University of South Dakota to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). One of my classes focuses on community health. I chose to study the health of farmers and ranchers in Perkins County, SD, since ranching is my past, present, and future. What I found was that farmers and ranchers in Perkins County have a high prevalence of heart disease related to diet. I also found that this issue of diet is related to our distance from grocery stores with fresh produce available. As part of this class, I had to find a way to “fix” the health problem that I found to be the most common in my community. My intervention was simple, but had more impact than I thought.
I decided to support an organization that is already available to farmers and ranchers in Lemmon, SD called Bountiful Baskets. I found that many people from Bison utilize this program, but those that live farther west and farther south don’t because of distance and simply because they have no other reason to drive an hour and a half, or more, for a $15 dollar basket. What I decided to do was pick 20 people, most of them from the southern and western part of Perkins County. I asked them to order whatever they would like from Bountiful Baskets and I would deliver it to their doorstep, or at least somewhere closer than Lemmon. I had about a 55% response.
As part of addressing social justice (simply defined as the community helping the community take responsibility for their health) in this intervention, I asked a couple of high schoolers to help me with delivery. This would not only help me out, but I also wanted to get high school organizations in Bison involved in hopes that this program would continue. Ross and Shane were great with helping me to organize boxes and deliver them! Not only did they help me out, but they both said, “That was actually kinda fun!” They also started asking questions about how I started the idea and organized everything, so hopefully it sparked something in them to continue on.
Since I no longer reside in Perkins County permanently, it would be hard for me to continue this intervention beyond my class. I did receive a lot of positive feedback. Those that ordered Bountiful Baskets for their first time said that they would do it again if it was delivered, or even if there was a pick-up location in Bison. This is exactly the response I was hoping for! It actually made me feel like I was doing something to improve the health of my friends and neighbors, one randomly filled produce basket at a time!
~Ashleigh G, RN
I appreciated Ashleigh’s efforts to expose me to Bountiful Baskets. I have heard a lot of good things about the program and have wanted to get a basket for a long time. I fall into the Lemmon is over an hours drive for me category. I was really happy with the produce I received.
Do you participate in Bountiful Baskets?