Live Well Geary County partners with Geary County Schools to fight food insecurity

GEARY COUNTY, Kan. — Live Well Geary County has partnered with Geary County Schools USD 475 to host communal meals and provide food and nutritional training programs, such as meal preparation, for the community to make it easier for Geary County residents to lead healthier lives.

Geary County has a food insecurity rate of 14%, according to Kansas Health Matters, which is among the highest 25% of counties in the state.

Live Well will provide these services to the community at the district’s Larry Dixon Center during weekday afternoons and evenings.

“This continued relationship with a valued partner in Live Well Geary County is so beneficial to the district, as well as the community,” said David Wild, Geary County Schools USD 475 chief operations officer.

This partnership will be funded with an implementation grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as part of Live Well Geary County’s “Pathways to a Healthy Kansas” grant and a Kansas Health Foundation Impact and Capacity Grant.

“The grant is a community and social context communal meals pathway to increase access to healthy food by expanding or enhancing the communal meals program within the city,” Wild said.

Live Well and the district plan to begin the partnership on Nov. 1, beginning with a pilot program for in-person communal meals for seniors on Monday evenings. The organizations plan to expand their offerings in early 2022 to make meals available community-wide.

The district has also partnered with Live Well on numerous other projects, including the summer meals program, Live Well bicycles used by elementary schools for safe ride training, water bottle filling stations in all of the schools, funding for a new greenhouse at Westwood Elementary School, and promoting tobacco-free schools.

Live Well’s Food Policy Council and community partners are currently conducting a survey for the creation of a 10-year Food System Plan that will help guide the growth of the local food system. If you eat or buy food in Geary County, Living Well asks that you please complete a survey to help shape the future of food in Geary County. To access the survey, please click here.

The Kansas Health Foundation is a philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, please click here.

For media inquiries, please contact Lindley Lund, marketing and media specialist for Geary County Schools USD 475, at lindleylund@usd475.org.