SCRANTON, Pa. -- A health group is taking a different approach to healthcare in Lackawanna County by opening a Fresh Food Farmacy, especially when it comes to treating people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Healthy foods, like cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes, can be tough to come by when trying to figure out a healthy lifestyle.
Geisinger is hoping to help those people and their families by opening the Fresh Food Farmacy on Olive Street in Scranton.
Fresh Food Farmacy provides education and many healthy food options for patients.
“Programs like this where we are able to make health easier make it easier to eat right make it easier to change lifestyles to better manage diabetes. We know good things happen when we do that,” said Dr. Jaewon Ryu, Geisinger President and CEO.
The Farmacy expects to serve 500 patients a week, for free.
“We are providing them 10 meals a week not just for that registered patient but also for their entire household,” said Alicia Beachy, Project Manager.
Officials say the Farmacy is open for Geisinger patients with Type 2 Diabetes and households that experience hunger on a regular basis.
The Scranton location will be one of three locations in our region.
“We looked at our community needs assessments and we evaluated where in our geography had the most needs for diabetics and it was Shamokin, Scranton, and Lewistown,” added Beachy.
The Shamokin location opened in 2016 and the Lewistown Center just started accepting patients this week.
Tom Shicowich was one of the first patients to go through the program in Shamokin.
“I basically was living off fast food or whatever I pulled out of the freezer or can. So, the idea of having fresh food with me was a big deal. I was like 'wow it was an accomplishment',” said Shicowich.
Shicowich dropped 60 pounds since starting the program. Now, through Geisinger, he helps educate people with Type 2 Diabetes.
“Diabetes is a horrible disease but you can manage it you can control it you do not have to let it rule you. You can take charge of it,” said Shicowich.
The Fresh Food Farmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Scranton.