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Grambling Residents Learn Lifelong Behaviors to Improve Nutrition and Physical Activity

Jan 29, 2021

Summary 
Grambling Healthy Community Coalition helps residents change their health status by improving food choices and increasing physical activity. Many entities are working together to provide nutritional programs, physical activity opportunities, community camaraderie, and support for each other.

kids making a healthy smoothie
an adult and child stand by vegetables that are being grown

Problem 
The Grambling Healthy Community Coalition graded the overall health of their residents with a letter grade “D” for adults and “C for youth”. Members identified issues they felt were keeping their community from better health. The two issues identified were lack of nutrition knowledge and physical activity. Grambling Healthy Community members reported they have a high number of health issues. Many residents have high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. According to the coalition, this is causing early deaths.

members of a fraternity help to relocate a garden

Solution
The Grambling Healthy Community Coalition is offering workshops, activities, and programs. During these programs, residents become aware of health challenges and learn how to reduce their risky behaviors. The Grambling Healthy Community members and the LSU AgCenter teamed up together. 

Here are some of the programs and activities they have offered from June 2018 to December 2020:

  • Two Community Health Fairs were held.
  • Family Nutrition Night, a nutrition program for children and their families, took place.
  • Summer Nutrition Programs held at Grambling Housing Authority for youth participating in the summer feeding program. Students learned about smart snacking, physical activity, MyPlate, food safety, and more. 
  • School gardens were built and lessons on nutrition and gardening were taught at Alma J. Brown Elementary/Lincoln Preparatory School. 
  • Approximately 100 residents at the Grambling Housing Authority received walking videos to continue physical activity in their homes with their family during COVID-19.
  • Several walking programs and competitions were offered, including a Fall Community Health Walk, a Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Run, a Juneteenth Festival Health Walk, and a six-week Walking Program held at the Grambling State University track. 
  • A Live Long, Live Strong workshop was held in the community. Topics were taught on gardening, hydroponics, shortcuts in the kitchen, and home exercise for a longer and strong life.  
  • A Cooking for One or Two workshop taught participants how to prepare quick and nutritious meals, how to cook quickly in the microwave, how to use small kitchen appliances, and food safety. 
  • Egg-Stravanaza, an egg hunt, was held for the community at the Grambling Community Center. A lesson on nutrition and exercise was taught to youth and families by two Healthy Community members.
  • The mayor of Grambling offers community garden spots to the residents, the Grambling Healthy Community members promote the garden opportunity to the Grambling community.    
  • A Community Luncheon was held with active Healthy Community members, the mayor of Grambling, local pastors, and lay leaders all in attendance. The meeting introduced Healthy Community members to the ministers of the community and gave everyone an update on community events.  The best advertisement for getting the word out about programs and activities in Grambling community is by word of mouth through church members and community residents. 
  • A local grant was received by Jonesboro State Bank, Pledge 10 to design and place walking and safe exercise techniques around the Grambling Park. Signs have been installed. The next phase is outdoor equipment for residents. 
community walk with a group of adults

Results

  • Partnerships have been made with Grambling Healthy Community effort. The community has come together, the Mayor, community leaders, Grambling State University, council members, church leaders, organizations and residents to improve the overall health grade of the community. 
  • *125 residents have increased their knowledge on nutrition information and physical activity by participating in hands-on learning opportunities. 
  • 150 residents have participated in walking programs and walking opportunities. 
  • 65 individuals participated in the family activity, “Family Nutrition Night”.
  • 200 students over a three-year period participated in the school garden and nutrition education programming. 
  • 18 youth participated in a five-week nutrition program at the Grambling Housing Authority. 
  • 30 youth participated in hip hop and nutrition activity during a community egg hunt.
  • 100 people participated in two nutrition health fairs.
  • Teamed up with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity to move the school garden to the school’s new location.

Sustaining Success
The Grambling Healthy Community Coalition continues to look for ways to engage the community so residents keep improving behaviors. Grambling Healthy Community received a grant to make upgrades to the Grambling Park. Walking signs have been installed. The next step is to add exercise equipment and benches. 


Engaging volunteers modeling healthy behavior will strengthen and encourage residents to put in place healthy habits. Providing an area for walking and exercising will give the community resources for physical activity. Community leaders and nutrition agents need to continue to engage the community residents in nutrition programs and physical activities.



For more information contact
Cathy S. Judd
Louisiana State University
LSU AgCenter website

Healthy Communities

 

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