3 Ways Housing Organizations Can Encourage a Culture of Wellness
For National Nutrition Month, CPDC is focused on the critical connection between health and home. Consider these 3 tips to help your organization inspire healthy living among residents.
Good lifelong habits are formed in childhood, so why not incorporate fun lessons that empower children to make healthy food choices into your organization’s youth after school or summer camp programming?
Two fun, hands-on ideas to help good nutrition resonate with youth: cooking classes/ demonstrations or a field trip to a local farm where kids get to pick, sample and prepare fresh fruits or vegetables.
2. Grow Where You Live
What better activity to usher in better weather than organizing residents around creating their own community garden space?
Planning a garden may sound like a daunting task—but it doesn’t have to be.
If your community lacks sufficient or available outdoor space to plant fruits and vegetables, a container garden is an alternative. Also, be sure to research what local organizations may offer support for community gardening initiatives in the form of resources and/or training.
Resident-led gardens can reap multiple benefits to overall health and wellness including physical exercise, better nutrition, a reduced ‘carbon footprint’ and mental/ spiritual perks!
3. Resident-run Food Pantry
The hands-on nature of resident-run, community food pantries create real ownership and lifestyle changes.
At CPDC’s Southeast Washington D.C. Arbor View community, a fringe benefit that has emerged from the food pantry is resident education on fresh produce that many are unfamiliar with.
It’s a fact that when a person is unfamiliar with a fruit or vegetable—and how to prepare it—they’ll never choose it in the produce section or the pantry.
Our staff breaks down these barriers by introducing new fresh foods through cooking demonstrations that give residents the confidence to try new things and expand their palates.
Starting an on-site food pantry is also a great opportunity to build partnerships with other local organizations, for example, city food banks and food-focused non-profits that have complementary missions of providing food to in-need populations.