Free, Fresh & Local: New Program Serving Food, Education To Tulsans With Type 2 Diabetes

Tuesday, April 6th 2021, 5:41 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

In a couple of months, 50 people with Type 2 diabetes and high A1C levels will start receiving a box of fresh food every two weeks for a year as part of a program called Tulsa FreshRX.

A box of free, fresh, local, nutritious food every two weeks and a tablet full of cooking classes and food education that you don't need Wi-Fi to access. This is the future for 50 people living in the North Tulsa area starting in June.

"We are picking from a group of clients who have over eight of an A1C level and then we are doing a small enrollment process to track mental health racial disparities and nutrition in the course of a year," said Erin Martin with Tulsa FreshRX. 

Organizers of Tulsa FreshRX are in the enrollment phase now. They said it’s taken a year of work and five months of fundraising to get to this moment, when they can release the plan to the public.

"With the intention of lowering their A1C level, one to two percent in the year which would equate to $16,000-$20,000 in healthcare costs savings, but also improving their quality of life," said Martin. 

To enroll in the program, you need to be a Type 2 diabetic with a high A1C level. You will need to attend clinic visits at Crossover Health Services, and you must take part in the classes on your tablet. The idea is for all the participants to take an active role in bettering their health and know they aren't alone in the process. 

"About seven years ago, I weighed about 236 pounds now I have got my weight down to like 185," said patient Dunbar Brown. 

Brown has had Type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years. His weight loss inspired his wife Brenda and now they challenge each other.

"I am working on about 10 more," said Dunbar. 

The people behind Tulsa FreshRX believe food is medicine and hope the program continues to expand over the years.

"I am just so grateful to be a part of it. To be able to witness it and to be able to support people and humans of all races and all backgrounds and all socioeconomic statuses, to have access to health because of how much that means for everyone," said Martin. 

If you would like to participate, contact Erin Martin at 818.288.7771 or Crossover Health Services at 940 E. 36th St. N. in Tulsa.