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Texas AgriLife Extension Agent

Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Family and Community Health in Hopkins County

Agri-Life Extension
Johanna Hicks

By Johanna Hicks

jshicks@ag.tamu.edu

Editor’s note: This is the 3rd in a series of program impacts provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health – Hopkins County.

Relevance

Better Living for Texans is a statewide program targeted toward helping families serve healthier foods and increase physical activity. In Hopkins County, approximately 4,021 receive supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, according to https://hhs.texas.gov.

Food insecurity, obesity, and lack of access to healthy food are other issues that impact this audience and have a solid potential to impact health negatively. Obesity among adults in Hopkins County is 37% of the population. Similarly, 32% reportedly are physically inactive.

To help address these issues, the Community Health/Wellness Alliance, Master Wellness Volunteers, and Family & Community Health Committee assisted in planning, marketing, and presenting programs.

Response

Offered are the following programs:

  1. Walk & Talk 8-week program for Head Start parents
  2. Healthy Snacking for preschoolers
  3. Better Living for Texans newsletter
  4. 55+ Health Fair on food budgeting and physical activity
  5. Be Well, Live Well series for 55+ group
  6. Newspaper columns on food safety, saving money at the grocery store, and meal planning

Partnerships & Collaborations:

  • Sulphur Springs Head Start staff is instrumental in promoting programs to parents
  • ROC (Recreational Outreach Center) allows us to use their facility for programming purposes
  • Master Wellness Volunteers and Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors assisted with programming for kids and adults

Results

  1. Walk & Talk 8-week series:
    • Two teams (Miles still being logged as of this writing)
    • Fruits & Vegetables focus
    • Weekly nutrition lesson and a cooking demonstration or recipe sampling
    • Provided were incentive items to reinforce topics covered in the series
    • Distributed weekly are information sheets and recipes
    • Master Wellness Volunteers and Tarleton State University student interns assisted in programming
  1. Healthy Snacking Teach Piece:
    • 175 Head Start children reached
    • Incentive items provided
  • Used interactive method
  • 55+ Health Fair:
    • BLT programs were promoted (Fresh Start and Walk & Talk)
    • Fruit and popcorn provided for fair-goers as a healthy alternative to cookies and candy
    • Provided display on fast food and nutrition labels
    • Approximately 250 senior adults attended
    • Distributed 85 small bags of popcorn and 30 pounds of apples and oranges
  1. Be Well, Live Well Series (BWLW):
    • 7 participants; 2 volunteers
    • 7 (100%) completed pre- and post-surveys
    • Surveys indicated: increased fruit & vegetable consumption (6 of 7); increased physical activity (5 of 7); referring to nutrition facts label (7 of 7)
  1. BLT Newsletter
    • Ten issues prepared
    • Provided to 28 outlets for distribution to clientele reaching approximately 5,000 households

Closing Thought

Never mistake a time-out for a defeat.