Written by Aaron Blakney & Alexandra Sorce | Penn State
As residents of Sto-Rox know, finding affordable and quality produce and groceries can be a challenge. Two Penn State interns have researched the issue, and hope to improve the health and wellness of the Sto-Rox community through the support of various community partners.
In order to understand the full scope of the issue, both interns met with community members and organizational leaders to develop a plan that will improve the health of the residents of Sto-Rox. These issues are wide-ranging, and no singular solution exists to the expansive topic of health and wellness.
When drafting the plan, the interns met with nutritionists in the region to develop a comprehensive sense of the tastes of the Sto-Rox community, along with learning strategies to encourage individuals to make healthful choices when shopping for groceries.
Did you know that integrating fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease? That’s why it’s important to get this knowledge to Sto-Rox residents, so that they too can make choices that will limit the risk of disease later in life.
The interns have included health officials, nutritionists, government officials, and community leaders to develop plans that will help residents learn about the link between nutrition and disease, along with the development of programming that will encourage residents to prepare foods that promote health and wellness in the coming weeks.
With a strategic plan coming into place and community leaders on board, the CDC is hopeful that the increased focus on healthy lifestyles will pay dividends for residents.
The Penn State Interns presented their findings on Wednesday, June 29th at the Sto-Rox Family Health Center. The findings included examples of nutrition initiatives in place throughout the state of Pennsylvania as well as suggested focus initiatives moving forward for the Sto-Rox community, including incentive-based programming for participating residents.
Stay tuned for the fully published strategic plan to follow later this year.