Monmouth Medical Center Breaks Ground on Community Garden to Benefit Behavioral Health Patients

Community Garden MMC

Chelsea Hoagland, Assistant Director, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, shown sixth from left, and, second from left, Fullfill Garden Education Coordinator Jess Sinkhorn, gather with members of MMC Pollak Outpatient Behavioral Health, Fulfill and Lowes groups. Also pictured are MMC Chief Nursing Officer Darla Harmer, third from left, and Vice President of Clinical Services Michael Perdoni, back row left.

Long Branch, NJ – Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) broke ground this fall on a community garden that will enable outpatient behavioral health clients to learn urban gardening techniques and practice the techniques. in their own growing bed.

Created in partnership with Fulfill, the Food Bank for Monmouth & Ocean County, and Lowe’s home improvement stores in Eatontown, Holmdel and Howell, the garden will benefit Pollak Outpatient Behavioral Health patients in countless ways. , said Chelsea Hoagland, Assistant Director for the hospital. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) grant.

Lowe’s is funding the labor and materials for the garden project through the Lowe’s Hometowns program, and the hospital will use the grant funds to build a greenhouse, according to Hoagland. When complete, the community garden will be equipped with several raised garden beds, a heated greenhouse, a cold frame for protection against bad weather, and a compost system. These resources all work together and help keep the garden going year-round.

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“The garden will benefit our patient community at Pollak in countless ways — one being by teaching our patients in our partial hospitalization program how to grow their own food through the ‘Seed to Supper Program’ in Fulfillment. Another is to conduct Fulfill teaching cooking classes that emphasize the importance of nutritious foods and making healthy choices to patients using vegetables grown right in our own backyard,” said Hoagland. “We hope to measure the success of this program by observing an increase in healthy eating habits, connection to nature and self, and improving the overall health of our patients. We are very excited about our collaboration with Fulfillment and Lowe’s.”

Fulfill’s Seed-To-Supper Garden Education Program is dedicated to giving community members the tools to grow their own healthy foods that can be used to provide healthy, budget-friendly meals.

“The community garden project was inspired by Fulfillment and was the dream of Garden Education Coordinator Jess Sinkhorn, who wanted to establish a community garden on a hospital property,” Hoagland said. “Initially, we will use the funds from our CCBHC grant to pay for the garden; however, Lowe’s reached out to Fulfill in hopes of sponsoring a community project and selected our site to receive a donation from the Lowe’s Hometowns program.”

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In 2021, MMC received a two-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to expand its behavioral health services and increase access to care among the underserved. population in all of Monmouth County. The grant was used to establish MMC’s Pollak Outpatient Behavioral Health Services as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic on MMC’s campus in Long Branch.

Pollak Outpatient Behavioral Health at MMC, a part of RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health services, offers a wide range of integrated mental health services that are evidence-based and person-centered. The adult Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) uses a multidisciplinary approach to help clients achieve their personal goals in a way that promotes personal growth, successful community participation, strengthening and health.

About RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health
RWJBarnabas Health Behavioral Health, in partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC), is a leading provider of integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment services, serving more than half a million individuals. every year. With hospital and community-based care programs, we offer the widest range of services in New Jersey, offering all levels of care for children and adults, including 24-hour crisis intervention and national helpline, inpatient and outpatient programs, psychiatric emergency screening. , case management, early intervention, counseling, medication management and integrated treatment plans. We are a leading provider of community-based programs, partnering with more than 300 schools and correctional facilities in NJ

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About Lowe’s Hometowns
Lowe’s Hometowns, Lowe’s largest community commitment, is a five-year, $100 million investment in community impact projects to transform and transform community spaces. Each year from 2022 through 2026, Lowe’s Hometowns will complete nearly 1,800 community impact projects, including 100 signature projects selected from partner and consumer nominations, and nearly 1,700 projects selected through Lowe’s stores nationwide with the goal of making homes and hometowns better for everyone. .

About Fulfillment
Fulfill, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and member of Feeding America, has been providing food for Jersey Shore families for over 38 years. Last year, through its network of nearly 300 community partners including food pantries and soup kitchens, it provided more than 14 million nutritious meals to families, children, seniors, veteran and others.

Fulfill also offers a suite of programs to connect people with the resources they need to become self-sufficient, including helping individuals and families get SNAP benefits and affordable health care and graduating adult students from our Culinary Skills Training program. Fulfill also helps families budget and manage money, find help for utility expenses, connect seniors with needed services, and provide school and community garden programs to help provide nutritious foods.