Category Archives: Family

Wellness Display at Portsmouth City Hall creates increased health awareness for National Nutrition Month

2018 National Nutrition Month Display in Portsmouth City Hall

VCE-City of Portsmouth’s National Nutrition Month Nutrition and Wellness Display in Portsmouth’s City Hall

In 2015, the Virginia County Health Rankings (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), which measures the overall health of each county in all 50 states, ranked the City of Portsmouth at 118th for its health performance. The health ranking is one of the tools used to determine the need for educational and community-based health programs in an area.

In addition, the Healthy People 2020 Initiative (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions) now encourages the development of programs and partnerships that can make a difference in communities’ health outcomes. Employee wellness programs were especially noted for gains in disease prevention and injury and improvement in health and quality of life.

According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Situation Analysis Survey, City of Portsmouth citizens reported that the most important issue regarding health and wellness is learning healthy eating habits and nutrition.

RESPONSE

Each year in March, Crystal Barber — the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent and registered dietitian for the VCE–City of Portsmouth office — incorporates National Nutrition Month (NNM) campaign messages, along with research-based information provided by VCE to support individual and family health education needs.

The 2018 NNM event was held in the Portsmouth City Hall lobby, and 225 individuals visited the exhibit. To help promote the theme, “Go Further With Food,” free handouts on nutrition and wellness, upcoming programs, and incentives were provided. Assisting with this effort were Anthem Healthcare representative Lelani Lawrence and Portsmouth Public library staff member LuKendra Banks.

Healthy eating samples were set up to educate participants about making healthy food and drink choices. Cabot Cheese donated several varieties of portioned, sliced cheese, nutrition and wellness educational brochures, and recipes.

The Department of Parks and Recreation and Leisure Services Assistant Director Mark Palamarchuck helped with food storage and setup for cold items to ensure the safety of perishable healthy snacks. The Portsmouth Public Library provided a list of nutrition and wellness books by credible authors that addressed current nutrition trends. The Portsmouth Department of Marketing, Communications, and Tourism donated City of Portsmouth giveaways.

Master Food Volunteer Regina Jones and FCS Occasional Volunteer Regina Hines also assisted with the event.

RESULTS

Comments were submitted by 52 of the 225 participants:

  • 98 percent of participants stated that the display was very informative and well-organized;
  • 95 percent of participants stated that the program increased their knowledge about nutrition, wellness, and other VCE programs.

Comments received:

  • “Love the way the information was provided across the life span.”
  • “This event encourages people to keep a healthy lifestyle.”
  • “The free handouts on the tables were very informative. Some info I can share with my family.”
  • “The event has been beneficial for me. Every year, I learn something from the interaction and the handouts, and enjoy the healthy snacks. There have been some that I actually purchased while shopping for groceries, for example, hummus.”
  • “Love the setup. Really looking forward to speaking to the dietitian in-depth.”
  • “The presenters were knowledgeable and friendly, and I loved the healthy snacks and Portsmouth incentives.”
  • “This event has given me new motivation, and I plan to enroll in the VCE Diabetes Prevention Program.”
  • “Please continue to be seen at City Hall on a regular basis as a reminder to us that ‘We Are What We Eat.'”
  • “It was great to get so much valuable information on nutrition and wellness. I also got lots of info on the Master Gardeners.”
  • “This was a great opportunity for the employees of Portsmouth to learn about nutrition. The display is very informative, and the programs are wonderful.”

FOLLOW-UP

Mark Palamarchuck suggested that the Department of Parks and Recreation become more involved in the event. It was determined that a National Nutrition Month Wellness Display Planning Committee should be established for next year’s event. Current and new partners, including city employees and residents, are invited to become a part of this impactful effort geared towards improving the health of our city.

Please contact Crystal Barber at 757-393-5125 if you are interested in serving on this committee.

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Henrico County youth learn the business of babysitting

Teen participants sitting at a table with baby dolls.

More than 240 youth have completed babysitting training since the Henrico County program began in in 2010.

The young entrepreneurs who attended Virginia Cooperative Extension’s babysitting training in Henrico County got more than just a new set of babysitting skills — they got a sense of confidence.

“It was a great learning experience. It was informative and all-around fun,” said one Henrico County participant who is starting to earn money by babysitting.

But while babysitting can be an excellent source of additional income, it can also be difficult work full of various unplanned events. Participating in babysitting training can help youth be better prepared for the job.

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Chesterfield financial planning classes pay off for local residents

Economic woes and balancing personal finances can be challenging for anyone, but it can be doubly hard when someone is living in poverty or doesn’t speak the native language.

So the local Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in Chesterfield, Virginia, are equipping people with knowledge that helps them create a better economic future.

More than 6 percent of Chesterfield County lives below the poverty line. In homes where a single mom is raising kids, that number creeps as high as 31 percent. People living in these situations are especially vulnerable to losing control of their finances.

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Students experience community nutrition while serving as FNP summer interns

students standing by HNFE department sign.

2016 Family Nutrition Program Interns

The Family Nutrition Program welcomes 12 students from Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise into its internship program this summer.

This program serves as a partnership between the Family Nutrition Program and the HNFE department. This internship provides students with real-life experience that is related to their studies.

“It really benefits HNFE since it gives students a chance to experience real-world community nutrition,” said Lynn Margheim, a trainer for Virginia FNP. “The students not only get to participate in delivering nutrition education, they’re also learning about government food programs and accountability, and they’re putting the food safety skills they’ve learned into practice.”

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Virginia Cooperative Extension encourages residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is encouraging residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21, 2016. Hurricanes are one of the most common natural disasters that Virginia experiences. In addition to high winds, other hazards also follow hurricanes including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and tornadoes.   Hurricane season begins June 1, so begin planning now.

One of the greatest hazard risks for Virginia residents during hurricane season is flooding. This risk is particularly high in the many coastal communities of Virginia where the elevation is very low and the impact from storm surge is increased. However, inland areas are also susceptible to flooding, especially along rivers and streams that can overflow their banks during intense and sustained periods of rainfall. Even if you have never experienced a flood in the past, it doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future.

What many homeowners don’t know is that standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not typically cover flooding. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to help provide a means for property owners and those who rent property to financially protect themselves. However, to be eligible for flood insurance, you must live in a community that participates in the NFIP. Fortunately, most communities in Virginia do participate in the NFIP. To find the listing, go to: https://www.fema.gov/cis/VA.html In addition, not all insurance companies participate with the NFIP to sell and service flood insurance policies, so check with your local provider to find out if they do.

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