A Community Response to National Minority Health Month: “Eating Healthy on a Budget!”

A Community Response to National Minority Health Month: “Eating Healthy on a Budget!”

The Abilene Community exceeded expectations in responding to National Minority Health Month during April 2013. “National Minority Health Month” is part of the nation’s Healthy People 2020 Initiative. Members of the CUADD Health Equity Sub-Committee aligned with their purpose, “to engage systems and communities to promote health equity and positive outcomes for the citizens of Abilene …” and developed the “Eating Healthy on a Budget” events. Three events were held during the month and in different parts of the city so that it would be easier for the people in those communities to attend. Each event was led by a different sub-committee member, sponsored by different entities in town and hosted by different systems. The three teams partnered with the Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities and several local organizations in this endeavor. {{more}} The first event was held on April 3rd at the New Haven Community Church . The team lead, Sheila Rose, set the bar high partnering with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service, Sam’s Club, Star Dodge, Kent Beck Motors, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, Red Lobster and Texas Roadhouse to present a cooking demonstration on how to make healthy, delicious and inexpensive meals at home. The demonstration included information on “our plate” and portion control. Each participant was then given bags of groceries from Sam’s Club with which they could make the meals demonstrated during the event. KTAB Reporter Marlisa Goldsmith photographs team chair Shiela Wade and St. John’s Baptist Church Member Volunteer. Photo by Alan CopelandShown above are some of the gift baskets containing food and recipes provided by the committee. Photo by Alan Copeland The second event was held on April 20th at St. John’s Baptist Church . The team lead for that event was sub-committee member Turquoise Pipes. This team partnered with Abilene Christian University, Aramark, the American Cancer Society and United Supermarket to demonstrate how to make healthy meals at home that are inexpensive, and provided United Supermarket cards so that participants could get the ingredients for the meals. ACU chefs prepared the meals, and other ACU representatives taught on the negative effects that sugar has on the human body as well as providing other valuable information. The American Cancer Society’s representative Melissa Carlton spoke on the prevalence of cancer among the poor and people of color. Team Leader Turquoise Pipes oversees the 2nd event. Photo by Sharon OwensACU Chef Nathan Sheasby serves up a healthy meal made on a budget. Photo by Sharon Owens American Cancer Society representative speaks specifically to event participants. Photo by Sharon Owens The third and last event was led by sub-committee members Susan Wade, Jasmine McCabe-Gossett and Anthony Williams, Jr. This last event was held at Lee Elementary School, and the partners were Abilene Christian University, Aramark, United Supermarkets and the Abilene Independent School District. This meal was also prepared by ACU chefs with instruction on why we should eat healthier meals. Participants left the event with all the ingredients to make the delicious meals demonstrated plus some extra goodies. Team 3 Committee Members and Presenters: Front Row Sharon Owens, Marci Prachyl , from Hendrick Medical Center: Meg Clifton, Susan Wade, Maribeth Bunn, Dina Davis, Jeasmine McCave-Gossett, Elyse Lewis, Patti Esposito and Nathan Sheasby. Back row Ronnie Laurence with DSHS/Committee Co-Chair, Anthony Williams Jr. with Hendrick Medical Center/City Councilman and ACU Rep Anthony Williams, Alan Copeland, Co-Chair, and Tony Dominque, Executive Chef with Aramark. Photo by Sharon OwensMarci Prachyl from Aramark teaches on healthy eating. Photo by Sharon OwensMaribeth Bunn teaches on the effects sugar has on the body and recommends water as the beverage of choice. Photo by Sharon OwensGroup shot of Team 3 and presenters. Rev. Riley Hood, Co-Chair Ronnie Laurance, Co-Chair Alan Copeland, Sharon Owens, Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist, ACU Chef Nathan Sheasby, Team Leader Turquoise Pipes and American Cancer Society representative Melissa Carlton. Obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are only a few of the dreaded diseases and conditions that poor and vulnerable populations contend with at a higher rate. While we are not necessarily able to eat or exercise these conditions away, personal responsibility by individuals and social responsibility by systems could, and will contribute to the reduction of these conditions and to premature deaths in Texas. Hats off to the CUADD Health Equity Sub-Committee and the systems and citizens of Abilene for accepting the challenge … for responding to the needs of our community … and for working to eliminate disproportionality and disparities. For more information or to join the work of the Health Equity Sub-Committee, please contact the committee Co-Chairs Ronnie Laurance 795-5866 or Alan Copeland 829-0569. CUADD is a grassroots community advisory committee. All are welcome.