Faith communities play a special role in helping their members lead healthy lifestyles. Faith communities care about members’ health, offer programs and services to support their members, serve as centers of their communities, and have leaders who are widely respected.
Live Well Alabama partners with faith communities to promote healthy eating and active living of faith community members through direct education, social marketing strategies, and policy, system and environmental change efforts. Using these three complementary and integrated elements creates conditions where people are encouraged to act on their education and awareness, helping ensure the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Goals of the Live Well Faith Communities:
Increase the number of faith communities promoting and supporting healthy eating and physical activity through:
- implementing direct education opportunities
- utilizing social marketing strategies
- establishing policies, systems or environments to foster healthy eating and physical activity
Encourage faith community members to:
- improve planning, shopping and preparation practices
- increase fruit and vegetable consumption, water consumption, and participation in regular physical activity
Across Alabama faith communities have made positive nutrition and physical activity changes in policy, system and environment with the support of SNAP-Ed. Some of which include:
- eliminating fried foods and sweet tea at congregational meals, ensuring water availability at congregational meals
- encouraging the availability of healthy options for each element of a congregational meal–entrée, sides, dessert, and beverage
- establishing, reinvigorating, and sustaining edible gardens at the faith community
- promoting healthy selections through recipe demonstrations, tastings, and informational material given to the faith community members