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Community members, resource agencies and local organizations came together in Kirkwood Park yesterday for Eastside Community Day, to celebrate the start of a new school year in the Eastside neighborhood, and to connect families with local resources they can use to keep themselves and their children healthy throughout the year. The event focused on promoting community assets--increased access to healthy food, safe places for families to be active, and the Eastside Community School as the hub of a healthy back to school experience. Local organizations including the Eastside Community School, Urban Acres Produce and Nemours Children’s Health System co-organized the event to connect the community with healthy options, such as the Urban Acres farm stand, which rotates among three locations in the Eastside community each week.
Through the Wilmington Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nemours and community partners are striving to increase access to healthy foods and safe places for physical activity. This effort will transform the places Delawareans live, learn, work and play into healthy, connected and thriving communities. Nemours is invested in supporting health and well-being in the Eastside community, also operating a pediatric primary care practice there, Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Jessup Street.
Nemours, Urban Acres Produce and the Eastside Community school are providing opportunities for community members to enjoy healthy foods and connect with one another through events such as this, community dinners, and faith-based gatherings. Highlights of the event were an Urban Acres farm stand, healthy food demonstration and tasting, obstacle course, free food, free haircuts, a backpack giveaway, “Teen Idol” performances and a skit by ART Fusion.
- PICH is the newest generation in CDC’s long history of community efforts to create and strengthen healthy environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
- As part of Wilmington PICH, three overarching and three intensive community-level strategies are being employed to address barriers that are preventing residents from living healthier lives, including:
- a tactical and integrated social marketing campaign (overarching);
- a worksite wellness campaign in conjunction with chambers of commerce and business associations (overarching);
- the development of strategies to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity promotion into the comprehensive land use plans for New Castle County and the City of Wilmington (overarching);
- introducing or expanding farmer’s markets (community);
- implementing the Healthy Corner Stores initiative (community);
- revitalizing public spaces to improve safety and increase their use for physical activity (community).
- Wilmington PICH Initiative partners include: the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL), Cornerstone West Development Corporation (Westside Grows Together), the South Wilmington Planning Network, Urban Acres Produce, New Castle County Department of Community Services and the Food Trust.
“We are enjoying working with partners to create a healthy Eastside community, so that children and families have access to healthy foods and safe places to be active where they live, learn, work, worship and play. The farm stand showcased at this event is just one example of working with Eastside residents to increase healthy choices.”
— Mary Kate Mouser,
Operational Vice President, Nemours Health & Prevention Services
“This event is positive way for Eastside to start the school year—for students, parents and the community members alike. When kids are healthy and safe, they have a clearer mind, are more focused and are ready to learn."
— Ken Livingston,
Eastside Community School
“We are excited to work with Eastside Community School to connect families with healthy foods that are available in their own community. We hope that this event will help people to value their health and meet others who want to make a change, so they can get healthy together."
— Mike Minor,
Urban Acres Produce