Thundermist has a strong commitment to the communities it serves, offering services when and where they are needed, in schools, homeless shelters and food pantries.
Thundermist Grows is a multi-generational community garden and associated educational program. Thundermist Grows impacted more than 500 children, adults and seniors during the 2012 growing season. We knew that by initiating Thundermist Grows we would increase the health and well-being of our community by ensuring that families have better access to organic fruits and vegetables (which are often cost prohibitive), increase their physical activity through gardening, and increase opportunities for multigenerational exchange of skills and experiences.
Thundermist opened the community garden in May 2012, which is adjacent to the parking lot of the Cotton Shed, Thundermist’s innovative patient-centered medical home facility. The garden was home to more than 30 individual raised beds, eight of which are accessible to those in wheelchairs and other physical challenges. It also housed a shared berry and herb garden and a sitting area open to the entire Thundermist community. Gardeners included members of the community, patients, as well as Thundermist staff.
This project engaged multiple community partners with the development of the garden, its build-out, and actual gardening and maintenance of the garden. Committed partners included the West Warwick Public Schools, the West Warwick Senior Center, the West Warwick Public Housing Authority, the Kent County YMCA, the URI Master Gardener program, a local Boy Scout troop and several local churches. All of the community garden beds will be built by participants in West Warwick’s Vocational Program.
To ensure that our community gardeners had the skills they needed to successfully grow food, as well as to increase the amount of organic gardening in our community, Thundermist Grows implemented a community-wide education program. This program trained local community members in key organic gardening techniques. A Beginner Gardener Series, a 4-part educational curriculum developed by the South Side Community Land Trust, was delivered to both community garden participants as well as local backyard gardeners. Additionally, we engaged local school children and local seniors in a program which taught them to plant and grow seedlings as well as participate in container gardening in their homes. All educational sessions were conducted by volunteer trainers who were either certified in the South Side Community Land Trust’s curriculum or URI Master Gardeners.
The Thundermist Community Dental Program uses portable dental equipment and offers on-site services in oral examinations, preventative, hygienic and restorative services and classroom-based oral health education.
A dentist and hygienist go to schools, Head Start classrooms, and after-school programs to screen children and then refer them for treatment to the Molar Express or their dental home.
Working in conjunction with Farm Fresh RI, Thundermist is proud to offer farmers markets in the communities of West Warwick and Woonsocket. Both markets are open to the community and accept WIC, senior coupons, and credit cards. EBT/SNAP is also accepted at a higher value than regular cash.
Woonsocket Farmers Market:
West Warwick Farmers Market
450 Clinton Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895
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