The Louisiana Healthy Communities Coalition is overjoyed to help and highlight the people up in north Louisiana fighting our twin chronic disease monsters, tobacco and obesity - those creeping, almost unseen causes of most death and disease. People are doing it by going back to the beginning and creating environments where people can be healthy by default – way before doctors, medicine and other scary, expensive treatments need to be called in.
So how are LHCC mini-grants helping people be healthy in North Louisiana? Take a look:
- The Village of Athens used its LHCC mini-grant to address food insecurity by creating a community vegetable garden and planting fruit trees downtown. This central location, along with its proximity to the Village Hall and Veteran Walking Trail & Gardens, has created a space for Athens’ citizens to feel better in more than one way. Now they can eat well and benefit from healthy, delicious squash, zucchini, peppers, herbs, and fruit tree produce; exercise and be active in an area that is open to all; and, perhaps most importantly, come together as a community.
- In Monroe, we helped the Ouachita Healthy Communities Coalition work with Shady Grove Elementary to build an inviting outdoor classroom space - complete with a herb and vegetable garden, as well as with a durable outdoor floor for ongoing use. It’s a great space for teachers and to learn about science, nutrition, and gardening through experiments, tastings and classwork all in a garden setting.
- With LHCC funds, Family Development Enterprises in promoted tobacco- and vape-free habits across Grant, Natchitoches, Winn and Ouachita parishes, by creating a digital campaign to connect people to dental health providers that offer tobacco cessation services. That effort was furthered by community members of all ages who helped spread tobacco-free messages via campaign push-cards and t-shirts.
LHCC is happy to have been a part of all these efforts! But it doesn’t stop here, as LHCC has grant opportunities pop up throughout the year. And one last thought: though 2020 has been a hard year for all of us, 2021 gives us a chance to learn from these hardships. Let’s resolve to come back healthier and better than ever before and to create communities that give everyone a fair shake at being their best self. Have a Healthy and Happy New Year!