Participants will learn strategies to help them partner effectively with diverse faith communities. This session will help participants to understand and build on community strengths, resources and assets in their faith-based work. This session will also help participants forge strong connections with community leaders, while recognizing and valuing diverse communities. In particular, you will learn more about FaithHealth, which is a dynamic partnership between faith communities, health systems and other providers focused on improving health. The partnerships combine the caring strengths of congregations, the clinical expertise of health providers and a network of community resources. Partners are linked in a shared mission of healing.
Faith communities can play a significant role in supporting the overall health of their communities. This session will explore what we mean by “local food,” as well as strategies to use local food as a tool to promote health and food security within faith communities. Whether it’s building connections between food pantries and local farmers, establishing community gardens, or offering tours to local farmers’ markets, participants will learn about how promoting local foods can enhance their Faithful Families work. We’d love to hear from you, so come with your own local food stories, and be ready to learn from others!
Faith communities can agree to open or broaden access to their facilities for community use. This is often called shared use. Participants will learn how faith communities and schools across North Carolina have implemented shared use policies and practices, and how they can help to promote shared use in their Faithful Families work.
This session shares lessons learned from working with food pantries and offers ideas on how to support pantries in implementing policy and environmental changes that promote healthier foods. Participants will learn strategies to increase healthier food options at pantries, promote healthier food choices among pantry clients, and offer nutrition education that is tailored to the needs of food pantries and their clients. Some strategies that will be discussed include working with farmers, community gardeners, and hunters on donation agreements and gleaning projects; offering healthy donation guidance to food donors; providing cooking demonstrations and recipe cards to pantry clients; promoting client choice models at food pantries; and, using “nudge” theories to encourage nutritious foods. Best practices for offering nutrition education classes at food pantries based on feedback from local nutrition educators will be explored. Participants will also be given the opportunity to share the type of work that they currently do with food pantries and share strategies that they have learned from their experiences.