Published on June 20, 2023

Community Wellness: OH Event Promotes Food, Art, Health

By Karah Wilson Messenger-Inquirer

Food, Art, and Health

Owensboro Health hosted its 10th annual Food+Art+Health event Saturday at the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market.

Debbie Zuerner, OH’s director of community engagement, said the event began as the Harvest Market before undergoing a name change.

“We brought some folks from eastern Kentucky and western Kentucky together, and we looked at the intersection of food, the arts community and our various Owensboro Health departments,” she said. “We’re very intentional about the name of the event because it’s the intersection of those that create a vibrant, healthy community.”

Zuerner said the event not only promotes wellness, but it also allows for community members to learn more about the local art offerings.

“If you think back during COVID, what would you have done without music and theatre and artistic expression,” she said. “Really looking at that as a component  to health is what this is all about.”

Working with the farmers’ market brings in more interaction with the community through the vendors who are there every week.

“Partnering with the community is the key to everything we do,” Zuerner said. “Our mission is to heal the sick and improve the health of the communities we serve. We say it all the time that we can’t  do that by ourselves.”

Nicole Leach, community engagement specialist, said the event is well-attended.

“I think last year we had a little over 4,000 individuals,” she said, “and we’re expecting about the same  to come  out this year.”

One of the organizations at Food+Art+Health was Empty Bowls of Owensboro.

Tina Taylor, chairperson of Empty Bowls, said the group has attended the event for three years.

“This helps bring awareness of all three of the needs to members in the community,” she said. “With Empty Bowls, our focus  is on food, art and health, so it’s just natural for us to be here.”

Taylor said Empty Bowls is a nonprofit that raises money to feed the hungry in Owensboro.

“Every year we have professional potters and community members help us make bowls to be sold at an event in October,” she said. “All of the money goes  back  into the community to an organization whose focus  is on feeding the hungry.”

Shannon Hutton, president of the farmers’ market, said the market wants to encourage a sense of community.

“We want this event to be where everyone is welcome,” she said. “This is your grandma’s porch on a Saturday after church where you can get some  good  food, meet new friends, sit down and relax.”

Hutton said the crowd for the Food+Art+Health event is always “very big.” Saturday’s market hosted  39 vendors. “The only market that we have that is comparable to this is our Holiday Market at the end of the season,” she said.

Food, Art, and Health
Food, Art, and Health

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital; Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center; the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 350 providers at more than 30 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a weight management program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have more than 19,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 33,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 150 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 90,000 Emergency Department visits and more than 1.25 million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.