February 27, 2019 — JOHNSON CITY, TN

Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development is proud to announce they were recently awarded the “Eat Smarter” Initiative of the Year from The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness for their Farmacy Fit program. Farmacy Fit, which began in 2018 at the Johnson City Farmers Market, is a program where participants were given $3 in farmers market tokens in exchange for completing a one mile walk around a predesignated loop near the market.

Farmacy Fit encouraged both exercise and healthy food choices by incentivising exercise with the reward being free fruits and vegetables. In addition, Farmacy Fit supported local agriculture by providing an added value to coming to the farmers market each week because participants were further rewarded for consecutive participation. The program was made possible through a grant from ___ and was spearheaded by Lexy Close, Appalachian RC&D Project Director. Close is at the helm of not only Farmacy Fit, but also Field School – Appalachian RC&D’s beginning farmer training program, and Build it Up – a program aimed at lessening food insecurity in Northeast TN by teaching families how to grow food in backyard gardens.

Farmacy Fit was quite successful in it’s first year. The program provided $ in market tokens, and participants walked a total of ## miles over the course of the Johnson City Farmers Market season. In 2019, Appalachian RC&D hopes to expand this program to the other five counties it serves. They are currently seeking out grant opportunities that would fund that program expansion.

The “Eat Smarter” Initiative of the Year award was given by The Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness. The Foundation’s Healthier Tennessee initiative strives to increase the number of Tennesseans who are physically active for at least 30 minutes five times a week, promote a healthy diet, and reduce the number of people who use tobacco. Over 100 communities in Tennessee are either recognized or working towards recognition for focusing on their members’ health and wellness. In Northeast Tennessee, Johnson, Unicoi, Washington, Greene, Carter, and the City of Kingsport are recognized as Healthier Tennessee communities. ETSU and Hawkins county are in progress with their designations.

Appalachian RC&D’s mission is to conserve natural resources and improve rural economies through community leadership and enhanced educational opportunities. Part of improving rural economies is improving the health and wellness of those who live, work, and play in these communities. ARC&D is committed to this drive and hopes that Farmacy Fit will be able to continue and grow to reach more families in Northeast Tennessee.


Lexy Close – Farmacy Fit Project Director –
Kayla Tucker – Marketing & Communications Director –

Lexy Close