MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Asha Loring is a hometown girl improving health in the “hood” one garden at a time.

As the founder of Health in the Hood, Loring’s focus is to provide health and wellness  opportunities in under served communities.

“We work in areas designated food desert neighborhoods that have little to no access to fresh food and produce, neighborhoods with mom and pop stores with beers and wines but not a full produce available to folks,” the Miami native said.“The foods that we grow are anything from collard greens to spinach to tomatoes to strawberries, a lot of okra we grow and that’s very popular and we also grow a Caribbean crop called calelieu, and everything we grow we teach people to cook in healthy ways.”

“It was kind of marvelous for me to juice,” said Overtown Resident Kenya Mitcham.

Mitcham adds that juicing is something she never thought she’d be doing. She didn’t eat a lot of fruits and veggies growing up and says it wasn’t until she got connected with Health in the Hood that she started.

“It’s actually motivating and liberating to me,” Mitcham said with a smile.

All of the fruits and vegetables grown are given away to residents for free in hopes of supplementing their meals with healthier foods to help prevent health issues that often plague low-income neighborhoods, like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes.

“It’s a lot cheaper for a mom to buy cans of Chef Boyardee than it is to buy bags of spinach, so if we can provide spinach to go along with their meals its going to be a real different dinner table at night,” Loring said.

For more information on Health in the Hood, click here.


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