Live Well Alabama
The children at the Gilliard Boys and Girls Club in Mobile County have a special place in the heart of Bernadine McCaskill-Ransom, SNAP-Ed educator in Mobile County. Prior to COVID-19, McCaskill-Ransom would conduct nutrition education at the Club as part of an after-school program. The program would include action-packed Eat Better, Move More classes for a fun lesson about eating a variety of healthy foods and beverages and how it’s necessary to fuel an active lifestyle.
However, McCaskill-Ransom doesn’t just stop with teaching children about nutrition — she makes sure they have opportunities to act on concepts they learn in her classes. She partnered with the club leaders to ensure water was available as a healthy option for children after learning the only beverage options available for the 185 kids at the Club were sugary sodas and fruit drinks.
During the pandemic, McCaskill-Ransom has participated in two virtual sessions with the Boys and Girls Club to direct low-income families to sites where they can obtain healthy foods within the community.
Bernadine was invited to serve on the Board of Directors for her local Boys & Girls Club because of her dedication to enhancing the lives of youth in her community.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, McCaskill-Ransom has maintained contact with community partners through Zoom meetings and continued serving Alabamians by making educational information available at sites such as farmers markets and food pantries.
She has also worked with a local community garden to assist in selecting produce to be included in packages handed out to the public. The usual practice of allowing visitors to pick their own produce has been restricted this year, but Bernadine still encourages people to eat from the garden. She said it’s essential during the pandemic that the public knows the community garden is a place where they still can get nutritious foods.
McCaskill-Ransom said she relies on a specific message while trying to reach her audience during uncertain times.
“I cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs me to do all the good I can do,” she said.
To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.