Today we are excited to highlight Nebraska Extension and the amazing strides they have taken in promoting health in communities of faith!
Faithful Families was introduced to the Grand Island community by a series of nine lessons, which included meal planning, label reading, fruits and vegetables, food safety, MyPlate, and physical activity.
The class met once a week for nine weeks beginning in September and ending in November of 2019. The seven adult participants were from the Salvation Army and varied in ages: they had moms, dads, young adults, and older adults. This group of participants often came as families, so it was very family oriented.
One of the unique components of this curriculum is our collaboration with a lay leader. The lay leader was a member of the church and helped connect the content to the faith community by setting up the meeting times, leading the class in prayer, and helping teach some of the lessons.
The second phase of this program involved more PSE work. Partners are currently working with the Salvation Army on community environment improvements that promote healthy living and application of what was discussed in the classes.
Many of their community environment goals focus on physical activity. The members of the church have taken steps towards meeting their goals by starting an aerobics class. According to a class participant, they are already seeing weight loss!
They also said that many of the youth are drinking less sugary beverages, such as carbonated drinks.
Faithful Families impacts the whole faith community, which opens the door for great impact. It is exciting to see the progress that is already happening within this community.
When asked about the challenges that were experienced, Emily Gratopp, Extension Educator at the Nebraska Extension, talked about creating new partnerships. “It takes time to build trust and to be embedded within faith communities.”
We’re so impressed with all that is happening in Grand Island, Nebraska! Keep up the good work!