Organic carrots and radish growing in the garden

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'A Red Circle' Helps North County Find Healthy Food Options

May 07, 2018 - 7:53 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - It’s hard to feel empowered when you're not healthy. And it's hard to be healthy if you're not eating well. Erica Williams of A Red Circle says health is one of the five focus areas of her organization's aim to uplift North County. Every Friday night they run the ‘Healthy Flavor Bistro & Garden’ at North Hills United Methodist Church.

“Everything is fresh, organic as much as we can, and don’t use salt or different things so we keep it healthy and we keep it flavorful,” she says.

It’s a pay-it-forward restaurant where you pay what you can, but everyone gets to eat.

"Soon we’ll be breaking ground at the church with our own garden so that the meals will be seed to table,” she says.

Williams says in that zip code, like others in North County, there are few grocery stores with healthy food but many convenience stores with unhealthy fare. They’re looking at ways to change the food landscape.

A Red Circle is also doing its "transitioning well" program for young people at St. Vincent home for children who will soon be aging out of foster care. Williams calls it "adulting" classes for kids who won't have a support system to rely on. They teach things like banking, budgeting, shopping, filling out applications for apartments and college, etc.

Additionally, she says for many kids in North County, going to the Muny and other St. Louis institutions is a luxury.

“They sometimes don’t even get to see outside of their apartment complex or their block or their school, so they see the same types of people, the same types of situation, the same types of food, and that all feeds into cultural capital, which is something that people need desperately as their growing up to get into the workforce and to different schools and colleges,” she says.

This summer, Williams’ organization has scored tickets to the Muny so kids can experience it.