September 12, 2015

Progress is Sprouting up for the Interprofessional Fresh Food Coalition

August 27 sproutsThe Interprofessional Fresh Food Coalition began in the spring of 2015, when a group of students started bringing fresh produce to the patients at the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center. On six different clinic nights over the summer of 2015, 12th Street patients were able to take a bag of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cabbage and more home with them after receiving medical care at the Center. The Central Arkansas Library System generously donated the produce from their teaching garden at the Children’s Library. Jon Bierman, the gardener at the Children’s Library, has supplied more than just vegetables — he also has been a great source of expertise, encouragement and enthusiasm for IFFC students.

Also during the spring of 2015, IFFC students received a grant from the UAMS College of Pharmacy’s Women’s Giving Circle. The $500 grant paid for building supplies for a garden box on campus. Cheri Goforth, the UAMS Director of Campus Life and Student Support Services, and Penny Talbert, the UAMS Grounds Manager, graciously allowed IFFC to locate their garden on the south side of the South Dorm.

Sept 4th - 2In late July and early August, student volunteers built the 30′ x 4′ x 2′ box and filled it with soil. In late August, with seeds supplied by Jon at CALS, student volunteers planted a fall garden. Fall crops at the UAMS garden include carrots, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, lettuce, radishes, cilantro, spinach, and basil.

Melissa Clark, Pharm.D., MPH, is the IFFC faculty adviser. Any student can join the IFFC by signing up at this link:

If you are interested in learning more about the IFFC, you can contact Erin Puryear at