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PlantPure Communities (PPC) is a relatively young nonprofit organization, with a very ambitious agenda. PPC’s goal is to empower millions of people to take control and responsibility for their wellness. Through the Oasis Program, PPC is bringing healthy food and science-based nutrition education to underserved neighborhoods across the country, engaging hundreds of people who otherwise would not have access and/or could not afford it. In November 2016, PPC announced the first round of Pilot communities selected to participate in the Oasis program, including low-income neighborhoods in Georgia, California, Tennessee, and Arizona. PPC will adjust the Oasis program based on lessons learned from these Pilots, and a second round of Pilot communities will be selected via an Open Invitation that will be issued in late 2017, with an eye toward scalability.
The Oasis Program offers participants the opportunity to learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet, while enabling them to experience firsthand the powerful health impacts. The Oasis Pilots are modeled on the Jumpstarts conducted in Mebane, North Carolina that were documented in the 2015 PlantPure Nation film. The Jumpstart program has been fully validated — the majority of participants in the Mebane Jumpstart who were on prescription drugs were able to reduce or discontinue those medications after just 10 days, and many people with diabetes, high lipids, arthritis and other chronic conditions found relief by the end of the program. PPC is working with faith-based groups, food banks, businesses, government entities, health systems, and local nonprofits to carry out neighborhood-wide Jumpstarts that are affordable and can be cross-subsidized. PPC is also working to establish a system that allows people to use SNAP benefits (aka food stamps) to pay for the food.
The focus of the Oasis Program is both short-term benefits and long-term lasting change. Biomarker data is being collected for Oasis participants before and after the jumpstart so that each person will experience first-hand, the powerful impact of nutrition on their health. An underlying tenet of the Oasis Program is to use the 10-day Jumpstart as the catalyst to attract and deliver a large, cooperative set of activities all working synergistically to achieve lasting change in the health and well-being of the participants and community. While it is anticipated that participants will be inspired to make changes when they see the biometric data that proves the powerful benefits of eating plant-based in just 10 days, other elements are also being built into the Oasis Program that will improve the likelihood of success in the short-term and lasting change over the long-term. In each Pilot community, we are working with local nonprofits to help build new connections with local resources – both funding and services, such as nonprofits who offer cooking classes and grocery shopping/label reading tours, mindfulness, financial literacy and fitness classes.
On a parallel track, PPC is also carefully evaluating how the 20,000+ people already signed up to participate in PPC’s Pod Network can support Oasis communities. The PlantPure Pod Network was designed to create and support a grassroots movement by empowering a network of independent groups and people working to promote the benefits of eating a healthier diet and sharing nutrition information. A central component is the operation of a web-based platform that allows members to access resources and share information. It is anticipated that many of the people who participate in the Pod Network can play an important role as we bring the Oasis Program to scale – reaching under-served communities across the country.
Background on PPC: PlantPure Communities was founded in early 2016 by Nelson Campbell, the son of T. Colin Campbell, PhD. (Dr. Campbell is the author of The China Study, the book that former President Bill Clinton cited in his recovery from debilitating heart disease in 2010). PPC’s formation as a 501c3 nonprofit is partly an outgrowth of the 2015 PlantPure Nation film, produced by Nelson Campbell.