The Washington Parish LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed program partnered with a community center in Bogalusa, LA to encourage year-round physical activity and respond to an urgent need for safe drinking water. They did this by creating hydration stations and providing portable, indoor physical activity mats.
The Brilliant Mindz Community Center is in a parish (i.e., county) with some of the worst health outcomes in Louisiana. The center does not have access to safe drinking water, which could discourage patrons from being physically active during hot summer months. The center cannot modify their building because it is a rented space.
Washington Parish SNAP-Ed worked with Brilliant Mindz to establish hydration and physical activity stations at the center. Both the hydration stations and physical activity mats are portable, which provides a temporary but urgent solution to the need for modifications to the rented space. The center serves both youth and adults and hosts free nutrition lessons through SNAP-Ed. As Louisiana faces record-breaking warm temperatures, the community center is:
- Adopting a policy to only serve water.
- Hosting a “Rethink Your Drink” challenge.
- Placing portable fitness mats in air-conditioned indoor spaces.
- Offering nutrition lessons through LSU AgCenter SNAP-Ed.
- Cultivating a new community garden.
“We strive to be healthier and with Christi [an LSU AgCenter nutrition educator] teaching our youth, hopefully these lessons will stay with them throughout their lives and extend to family and community.” – Dana Walker, director of Brilliant Mindz Community Center
Washington Parish SNAP-Ed will continue to partner with Brilliant Mindz to offer residents nutrition lessons, physical activity opportunities, hands-on gardening experience, and creative solutions to health barriers the community faces.