On April 25, 2018, UK SRC’s Community Engagement Core (CEC) kicked off the BerryCare lesson series by delivering a presentation to approximately 20 seniors at the Boyle County Senior Center. The presentation focused on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables and how good nutrition can protect health against environmental pollution.  Annie Koempel, the CEC program manager, and several graduate and undergraduate students will visit the center again on May 30, 2018, to collect baseline measurements. During that visit, they will also present another lesson highlighting the relationship between good nutrition and environmental pollution.

The BerryCare program is a collaboration between the UK SRC's CEC and the Cooperative Extension to create sustainable, affordable, and accessible sources of blackberries while also increasing physical activity through gardening. The program provides community groups with blackberry bushes and a lesson series that educates community members on blackberry bush maintenance, the negative impacts of environmental pollutants, the potential protective role of phytonutrients, and healthy blackberry recipes. The program raises awareness about the benefits of phytonutrients to our health using blackberries as an example of a phytochemical-rich food. Measures of biomedical and behavioral changes resulting from the consumption of blackberries are assessed upon completion of the program and compared to baseline measurements collected at the start of the program.

 

Pictures from the kick-off of the BerryCare program at the Danville Senior Center on April 25, 2018.