On March 16th, the Healthy People Priority Group was privileged to host a reception in honor of the food providers of Walker County who so compassionately give of their time and resources throughout the year to reduce hunger in our community. The event was held at First Baptist Church, Jasper. Many take access to food for granted but these individuals see and are inspired to address the great need that so many in our community have. In addition to showing our appreciation, we wanted to offer an opportunity for networking and sharing resources. One of our participants recently said, “I found the opportunity to talk to other providers to be extremely helpful and received great information about community resources. Thank you!”
The agenda was designed to provide information about resources that can help community partners to promote healthy food access through existing programs. Deb White spoke about the services available through the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. The Community Food Bank is piloting several programs in creative ways to reach people with healthy food. A new program was introduced by Thomas Martin, Pastor of Hope House Church. The mission of the Loaves and Fish Food Truck is to provide food access to people throughout Walker County, specifically children and senior adults. They are interested in partnering with other nonprofits and churches to create access where it is needed. Becky Persons informed the attendees about all of the services and opportunities available through the local Walker County Office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Finally, a number of agencies had information tables set up to share their opportunities including:
Capstone Rural Health Clinic, Community Garden
The Daniel Plan – First Baptist Church, Jasper
Walker Baptist Medical Center
Walker County Health Department – WIC Program
The SNAP Program
Alabama Cooperative Extension Office
Walker County Community Action Agency
Walker County Health Action Partnership
Chris Nuss introduced the HAP website, highlighting the Food Provider Database map. The website can be used by partners and community members to find vital information about healthy food. Further, there was great support and enthusiasm for the food access map for Walker County, especially a printed version of the database to distribute to cliental and those who do not have access to the internet
Our partner Johnny Brusco’s graciously provided an excellent cuisine. Door prizes added to the fun. They included a garden basket, Daniel Plan book, two containers of daisies, and a gift card to Son’s grocery.
The event was featured in the Daily Mountain Eagle on March 30th.
The article is available here.