Carrie Golden believes the only reason she's diabetes free is because she has access to fresh, locally grown food.
A few years after the Boston resident was diagnosed with prediabetes, she was referred to Boston Medical Center's Preventative Food Pantry as someone who is food insecure. The food pantry is a free food resource for low-income patients.
"You become diabetic because when you don't have good food to eat, you eat whatever you can to survive," Golden says. "Because of the healthy food I get from the pantry… I've learned how to eat."
Three years ago, the hospital launched a rooftop farm to grow fresh produce for the pantry. The farm has produced 6,000 pounds of food a year, with 3,500 pounds slated for the pantry. The rest of its produce goes to the hospital's cafeteria, patients, a teaching kitchen and an in-house portable farmers market.