Tampa General Hospital to open community garden, food pharmacy to advance health, wellness for residents

community garden TGH
'We’re on a mission to transform the health and wellness of our community.'

Tampa General Hospital (TGH) is working with the city of Tampa to increase access to nutritious foods and general wellness in Tampa Bay by opening a new community garden and food pharmacy.

The TampaWell Food Pharmacy and Community Garden, located at the TGH Family Care Center Healthpark, is TampaWell’s latest initiative, a joint effort by TGH and the city to create a sustainable wellness culture and improve the community’s overall health.

Both John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General, and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor were on hand Monday to cut the ribbon and officially open the garden and food pharmacy.

“We’re on a mission to transform the health and wellness of our community. Healthy foods and regular physical activity play a pivotal role in both the prevention and the treatment of chronic health conditions, but not everyone has access to these essentials,” said Couris. “With this new community garden and food pharmacy, we’re working to ensure that residents of this community can benefit from nutritious foods, contributing to better health and a greater quality of life.”

The concept that “food is medicine” inspires the TampaWell Food Pharmacy and Community Garden.

Patients at the TGH Family Care Center Healthpark diagnosed with prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity may request a referral from their primary care providers to select nutrient-rich foods from the food pharmacy, free of charge.

With fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the adjacent community garden, patients also have the opportunity to learn how to grow healthy produce sustainably.

“Today it’s clear that TampaWell is more than a vision for our city, it is a reality. With the new community garden and food pharmacy, we are effectively increasing access to fresh and nutritious foods in the areas where we can have a meaningful impact,” Castor said. “We are grateful to Tampa General and our partners in the community for making these transformations possible.”

The support offered by the TampaWell Food Pharmacy and Community Garden doesn’t stop there — it continues to bridge the gap by connecting eligible patients with Tampa YMCA’s evidence-based health initiatives, Diabetes Prevention Program or Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring, and community-based nutrition and healthy eating classes.

The TampaWell Food Pharmacy and Community Garden is made possible through support from like-minded community partners, including the Feeding Tampa Bay Food Rx Program and the Tampa YMCA Veggie Van Produce Prescription Program.

These are just two of more than 80 local organizations, including community groups, businesses, social services agencies and health care providers, which collaborate to advance the mission of TampaWell.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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