In this issue of the Global Health newsletter: Healthy Beginnings in 2016
HEALTHY BEGINNINGS IN 2016
“Ladies who lunch” Caring Hands Soup Kitchen, Kingston, N.Y.
More than 45 percent of families in Midtown Kingston live below the poverty line and depend on food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to feed their children. It is one of the most economically challenged and underserved districts in Ulster County, N.Y., and a U.S. Department of Agriculture-designated food desert, which means that there is little access to fresh produce or healthy food options. In response to these challenges, the Clinton Avenue United Methodist Church began the Caring Hands (CH) Soup Kitchen and Pantry. CH not only provides meals but also operates a community garden that is open to the public, offers GED lessons, and has a legal clinic. This year, the Global Health unit gave CH a grant to provide healthy breakfasts to low-income adults and families with young children. This is often the only meal and community contact beneficiaries will enjoy for an entire day. The grant will also cover hands-on training in healthy food preparation for families receiving food benefits. Program Manager Teryl Mickens responded to news of the award by saying, “We are so humbled and very grateful for all that this grant will allow us to accomplish. We can’t wait to witness our community’s recognition of the abundance of God. We do not take lightly the source of these funds or the ability to do good in the world.”
Global Health awards nearly $400,000 for nutrition programming in the U.S.
We are excited to have new mission opportunities — helping to remove barriers to healthy nutrition in the United States. To this end the Global Health unit has started four similar partnerships with the following ministries:
- Good Neighbors Ministries, Inc., of Augusta, Ga., Southeastern Jurisdiction — Established in 2008 by St Luke’s United Methodist Church, this ministry serves the community through nine programs to alleviate diet-related illnesses by helping to improve overall nutrition.
- Tazewell District Cooperative Ministries, of Rosedale, Va., Southeastern Jurisdiction — In consultation with the community, the four United Methodist churches in this cooperative will renovate the closed Elk Garden School and offer community nutrition, cooking and exercise classes, community gardens, recovery ministries, senior citizens programs, and educational support for students.
- Community Development for All People (CD4AP) of Columbus, Ohio, North Central Jurisdiction — The Healthy Eating and Living (HEAL) program of CD4AP addresses two major barriers to poor nutrition in a poor community: the high cost of nutritious food and preparation time. These will be addressed through healthy eating and living initiatives, free distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, child/youth development, and parent engagement.
- Interfaith Arkansas of Little Rock, Ark., South Central Jurisdiction — With more than 200,000 children in Arkansas labeled as food insecure, United Methodists are taking action by participating in the 200,000 Reasons three-year initiative to significantly reduce childhood hunger. With the help of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and its 500 partners, United Methodist churches will be opening pantries, planting gardens, hosting cooking classes, and sponsoring summer meal sites so that kids struggling with hunger will no longer have to wonder where their next meal will come from. “Ending child hunger in Arkansas is the heart and soul of the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign,” said Patty Barker, campaign director.
Missionaries support Global Health
In Nov. 2015, the Global Ministries missionaries took on a “Walk to Bethlehem Advent 2015” challenge to collectively walk 5,696 miles or 11,392,000 steps. The goal was to raise $3,000 to support the Global Health Advance #3021770 with a $25 donation per participant. The Global Health team is excited to have received this contribution in Jan. 2016. This is not just a celebration of the monetary support but a celebration of positive strides by missionaries toward healthy living.
What can you do to help promote healthy eating habits?
Everyone can make a difference by:
The Global Health unit recognizes that good nutrition can help to lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and diabetes, which are all leading causes of death in the U.S. Global Health is committed to ensuring that all people, especially those at greater risk for health disparities, enjoy a healthy life by accelerating access to healthy nutrition and physical activity.
- Eating the rainbow: Make half of your plate fruits and veggies; choose foods with vibrant colors that are packed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins; be a good example to help others
- Creating a new family tradition: Encourage friends and family members to eat healthy foods and be physically active
- Making healthy eating fun: Offer a variety of healthy foods, keep healthy snacks on hand, and make mealtime an enjoyable experience
- Having a new conversation starter: Share nutritional information with others and talk with them about nutrition and physical activity goals. See more on nutrition myths and facts here
Support our work by giving to the Global Health Global Health Advance #3021770.
Photo 1: Rev. Darlene Kelley
Photo 2: Barb Campbell