For Immediate Release: June 21, 2013
Gardeners at the AtlantiCare-funded community garden at the Historic Absecon Lighthouse planted the seeds of what they hope will be a bountiful harvest on May 18, 2013. The Absecon Lighthouse Community Garden is the second of six community gardens for Atlantic City residents that are/will be funded through AtlantiCare’s Growing Green-Atlantic City initiative and supported in part by a donation from the Dave Matthews Band. AtlantiCare’s Growing Green initiative aims to increase access to fresh, healthy foods. Twenty Atlantic City First Ward residents signed up for a plot in the garden, which will yield two seasons of harvest this year.
“The goal of creating and sustaining a community garden at Absecon Lighthouse is to increase Atlantic City First Ward residents’ access to fresh produce and to enhance awareness about the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles,” said Samantha Kiley, director of Community Partnerships & Engagement, AtlantiCare Foundation.
AtlantiCare provided $10,000 to establish the Absecon Lighthouse community garden in 2012, the garden’s inaugural year, and provided an additional $1,500 this year to expand and sustain the garden. Another gift of $1,500 will continue next year, and will complete the three year commitment AtlantiCare made to the Absecon Lighthouse. In addition to funding, AtlantiCare provides nutrition education.
In addition to City residents maintaining beds, this year local restaurants have rented garden plots. These include the Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian Cooking and Tony Baloney’s®. Both restaurants plan to incorporate the produce grown from the garden into their menus. Both Chef Palladino and Mike Hauke, owner of Tony Baloney’s, have made a commitment to the Lighthouse garden through fundraising and programming support. Both are members of AtlantiCare’s Growing Green Chef Council.
The Absecon Lighthouse will also utilize two of the garden beds for youth programming and as a collective harvest location for community members.
For information about other AtlantiCare programs and services, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000, visit www.atlanticare.org or follow AtlantiCare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticare.
AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,461 employees and 600 physicians serve the community in more than 60 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008.
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