Memphis, Tenn. — According to the American Heart Association, one in three adults in Shelby County has diabetes.
That’s enough to fill the FedEx Forum more than six times.
FOX13′s Lauren Coleman spoke with a group that’s helping to provide healthy food and combat food insecurity in the Frayser Community.
Austin Avery and his wife Laresia make it a priority to eat the right foods and live a healthy lifestyle.
“Back in 2014, a long time ago we started looking at our diet,” Austin Avery said.
“I had been diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Fibrosis Disorder. And so, what that was saying was, I needed to do something about my diet.”
When Laresia became pregnant with their son Josiah, he too was diagnosed with the same kidney disease.
“We went on a plant-based diet, and then in that process, we were like ‘Hey look we live in a certain area, we know that the community we live in is perplexed or actually having the same issues with hypertension, with diabetes and the likes, and we’re like hey, let’s not be selfish,’” Austin Avery said.
“Let’s also do it for them.”
That’s when the initiative “Healthy Frayser” was born.
Healthy Frayser is an innovative food sustainability hub, using aquaponics and food rescue to address chronic health issues often overlooked in underserved communities.
It’s a partnership between the American Heart Association, Christ Community Health Services Clinic, and the nonprofit Fish-N-Loaves.
Laresia said it was important she came back to the neighborhood she grew up in.
“So, we decided to bring back some light and highlight how exceptional the people are in this area,” Laresia Avery said.
“They just need the opportunity and the chance to be able to have nutritious food and access to that food for better development.”
Since its opening in November 2019, Healthy Frayser has provided nearly 65,000 pounds of healthy food, and 450 healthy meals a month to Frayser residents.
Last month, the group opened the Neighborhood Café on Roma Drive.
“So, every Friday now from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. anyone in the 38127 ZIP code, they can actually come out and come into the café and they are going to get healthy nutritional meals and it’s all complimentary of our gracious partners,” Austin Avery explained.
The family said their mission “Love the Lord, Love your neighbor” helps to keep them inspiring others and filling stomachs each and every day.
Healthy Frayser is funded by the Care Foundation and supported by the Mid-South Heart Association.
Cox Media Group