Live Well Alabama
Tammy Hall uses her relationships within Calhoun County effectively to serve the SNAP-Ed audience in the best way. As a SNAP-Ed educator in Calhoun County, Hall has worked with the cities of Oxford, Anniston, Jacksonville, and Piedmont to provide nutrition education to hundreds of residents. Most recently in Oxford, she worked with the city’s parks and recreation department to install several educational signs along a walking trail within the city. Throughout Oxford parks and walking trails, the signs have motivational messages printed on them, such as “Move More” or “Choose Water.”
“It was a good avenue to explore because the signs look great, and we have many walking trails in Calhoun County,” Hall said. “There have been many times when I’ve been walking on a trail and wondered how many laps make a mile.”
The relationship between Oxford and Hall made for a quick transition to put up the signs. Hall approached the city in June after a similar project in Jacksonville. She is also currently working on a sign project in Anniston.
“If somebody is out there walking, being healthy is on their mind already,” Hall said. “So, when they see a sign that says drink more water, eat better, and move more — it just reinforces that mindset they are already feeling.”
Using partnerships in her communities to educate the population isn’t anything new for Hall. In Jacksonville, she’s a recognizable face from performing recipe demonstrations in grocery stores with the Good Choice Healthy Retail program, teaching Body Quest to children in schools, and working with food banks.
“People see me in the community now, and some will say that’s the woman from the grocery store or she teaches my kids in school,” Hall said. “I enjoy being able to help in so many different parts of the community when it comes to nutrition education.”
At a locally owned grocery store in Jacksonville, she was a monthly fixture before the COVID-19 pandemic. Hall routinely set up a table and performed food demos, food tastings, shared recipes, and taught shoppers about nutrition. During the pandemic, she’s keeping her presence known by showing residents how to make healthy recipes. Hall also keeps her relationships strong with the public by conversing with them about their successes with nutrition and the changes they’ve made in their lives.
Hall can also be seen frequently at the Wiggins Community Center in Anniston. At the center, Hall teaches a program called CATCH, where she encourages children to move more, eat healthier, and introduce them to healthier foods. She’s also known as the one with the ice-cold water.
“If we do any physical activity, I make sure I have ice-cold water with me,” Hall said. “The kids know that if we do something with physical activity, water is the drink of choice for refreshment.”
Also, at the community center, Hall teams up with the city of Anniston for a bike club. Hall said a local bike store owner donated some bikes, along with several Alabama Extension Master Gardeners in Calhoun County. The children at the club ride the bikes on a walking trail on the center’s property.
Hall understands that COVID-19 has changed many people’s everyday lives in Alabama, and many more families eat meals at home. Because of the uptick of home-cooked meals, there is a higher premium placed on nutrition. Hall knows her job as a SNAP-Ed educator is important, but during a time when many people are spending more time around the dinner table than before, she’s made it her mission to keep doing it the best she can.
“We are trying to help Alabamians live healthier lives and cut down on those underlying health conditions such as diabetes,” Hall said. “During this pandemic, we have realized that healthy lifestyles are at the forefront of everybody’s minds more than ever.”
To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.