Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Family and Community Health in Hopkins County
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.
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.
Offered are the following programs:
- Walk & Talk 8-week program for Head Start parents
- Healthy Snacking for preschoolers
- Better Living for Texans newsletter
- 55+ Health Fair on food budgeting and physical activity
- Be Well, Live Well series for 55+ group
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- BLT Newsletter
- Ten issues prepared
- Provided to 28 outlets for distribution to clientele reaching approximately 5,000 households
Never mistake a time-out for a defeat.