County Nutrition Program Partners with Faith Based Community to Promote Health & Wellness at Gospel Jam
In efforts to impact chronic diseases like obesity and Type 2 diabetes among low-income populations, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Program is partnering with the faith-based community to host a series of events and activities on June 4 that support healthy lifestyles and communicate positive health messages.
Ecclesia Christian Fellowship will host a free Body & Soul Health and Wellness Gospel Jam that will feature gospel singers, delicious healthy food samplings from the Champions for Change Soul Food Cookbook, praise dancers, and free goodie bags for all attending. Dr. Joshua Beckley, Senior Pastor, Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The Jam begins at 5 p.m. at the church’s 1314 E. Date Street location in San Bernardino.
“The Body & Soul program is designed to raise awareness among faith-based organizations about the serious health disparities that put their parishioners at greater risk of obesity and other chronic health issues like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and certain types of cancer,” said Teslyn Henry-King, Program Coordinator for the county’s Nutrition Program. “We want the entire San Bernardino community to join us for this free event as we both reflect on our current condition and rejoice in the power to change for the better.”
During the Body & Soul Jam program, the Nutrition Program also will release the findings from a quantitative health assessment that surveyed approximately 150 parishioners from three partner churches. The initial findings, which indicate a significant presence of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and stress among the congregations, will be used by church leadership and health ministries to guide and influence the development of programs and initiatives to address the health issues identified in the survey.
Henry-King added, “We believe that understanding the health conditions we’re facing in our community will better prepare us for making healthy change happen. We wanted the Body & Soul Gospel Jam to also be a time for assessment and self-improvement, as well as a time for beginning to build a legacy of health in San Bernardino County.”
The Public Health Nutrition Program is also calling on all faith-based leaders throughout the county to participate in Perfecting the Temple Sunday on June 4 by delivering inspirational messages that connect healthy living with spirituality and encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles.
“We want faith-based leaders regardless of their religion or denomination to partner with us and our Perfecting the Temple Sunday by delivering important messages that will help people throughout San Bernardino County live healthier lives,” said Bronica Martindale-Taylor, Health Education Assistant for the county’s Nutrition Program. “Because so many families are touched by faith-based organizations, we see them as very important partners in our fight against chronic diseases in the county.”
She added that for this year’s event, five churches already have pledged their support and plan to participate in Perfecting the Temple Sunday. Those churches include The Light Church, San Bernardino First Church of the Nazarene, Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, The Kingdom Worship Center, Our Lady of Hope, and Ecclesia Spirit Lead Fellowship of Churches International. The Nutrition Program is also working with churches on other healthy lifestyle programs ranging from weight-loss programs, community walking events, church gardens, to mobile vans used for health screenings.
According to Martindale-Taylor, the Nutrition Program plans to make Perfecting the Temple Sunday an annual event. “Over time, we want Perfecting the Temple Sunday to help us create a legacy of health throughout San Bernardino County,” said Martindale-Taylor.
The Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, identifies wellness as one of the key elements of a complete county. The Vision is emphasizing wellness in its recently lunched Vision2BActive campaign, http://wp.sbcounty.gov/vision2bactive/.
For more information about Perfecting the Temple Sunday, the Body & Soul Health and Wellness Gospel Jam, and the health assessment survey, contact Donna Panganiban, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, at 909-388-5689, or Bronica Martindale-Taylor, Health Education Assistant, at 909-649-6900.
The Champions for Change Body & Soul program is funded by USDA SNAP-Ed, an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit www.CaChampionsForChange.net for healthy tips.