Guest Writer: Heidi Smith
New Covenant United Methodist Church in Hamilton, NJ invited the community to have a “hands on ” lesson on container gardening recently. In May of 2013, we planted peppers, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers. As they grew outside in the church yard, different participants enjoyed tending to them. We finished the Faithful Families lesson, “Choosing More Fruits and Vegetables,” which was timed perfectly for when the vegetables were ready for picking! It really helped drive the point regarding accessing fresh fruits and vegetables.
The children in the class kept reminding me that they did not like vegetables but as we prepared the stir fry with all the assorted vegetables in vibrant colors, they couldn’t wait to give it a taste. And they loved it!
Our church recently became certified to distribute Farmers Market vouchers to low income seniors to help them purchase more fruits and vegetables. Our take away after that class was to follow up with an area farmer and asked her to set up a satellite location in front of our church which sits on a busy corner with lots of foot traffic. The farmer is coming to our location on September 18, 2013! The Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More curriculum and training really empowered us to help advocate for healthier options for our community.
Heidi J. Smith, RN, MSN is Outreach Chairperson and grant manager for the For the Health of It! project at New Covenant UMC in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.