Our new Hope for Health and Nutrition initiative is designed to raise awareness about the high levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in our community while helping to provide new solutions, enhance current solutions, and improve the general understanding of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
House of Hope seeks to add ambassadors and partners to help advance the initiative for all residents, especially lower income families and individuals who currently suffer from these challenges in greater numbers and are at higher risk levels. We know that for many individuals and families, the health of the household is an obstacle to success. Better health makes for better students and better employees and increases the likelihood for positive results.
House of Hope continues to improve access to healthier and fresher foods for our clients and partner agencies, while also improving access to information and education on health and nutrition by providing the following programs:
- Daily access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, always at no cost to our clients in each of our four Client Choice food pantries.
- The launch of our agricultural and vocational production farm in Palm City. The farm is currently producing over 150 heads of lettuce and other vegetables each week. When the infrastructure that is currently under construction or in planning is complete, the farm will produce as much as 4,000 pounds of produce monthly.
- The care and maintenance of our three nutrition gardens (East Stuart, Golden Gate and Banner Lake) used for food production, as well as gardening and nutrition programming. The produce generated stays in the communities where the gardens are based.
- Gardening to Grow Healthy Children, a gardening and nutrition education program that reaches over 500 children and adults annually in local after school programs, through our nutrition gardens, and other locations.
- Health and Nutrition programming at the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment, including health seminars, smoking cessation classes, garden to plate cooking classes, Crock-Pot cooking classes, meditation and yoga instruction, gardening classes, health screenings and vaccinations, and more.
- Case management services for our clients to help them develop a personal plan to work toward their goals of stability, sustainability and health.
- The Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, a state licensed facility used to prepare and package healthy food options for distribution through our four client choice pantries.
Great partnerships and valuable volunteer support are key in helping the House of Hope staff have a positive impact on health and nutrition for those we serve and the community at large. Our four Client Choice food pantries, the production farm, the nutrition gardens, and the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment all benefited from the more than 43,000 hours of volunteer service that House of Hope received last year from individuals and groups. (That is the equivalent of nearly 22 full time employees.)
Other key partnerships include:
- Palm City Farms Produce & Market (the Dawson Family), home of our Agricultural and Vocational Production farm
- Florida Department of Health, Martin County
- City of Stuart
- Banner Lake Club
- Martin County Board of County Commissioners
- United Way of Martin County
- Children’s Services Council of Martin County
- The Community Foundation of Martin & St. Lucie
- Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
- Everglades Area Health Education Center
The Health and Nutrition Ambassador Program is a county wide initiative designed to raise awareness and understanding of major health concerns, especially those that relate to diet and nutrition, and to assist in providing and enhancing solutions and opportunities to drive improvements. Ambassadors may be an individual or family, as well as businesses, churches, youth groups, schools, social groups or others. Ambassadors may come from any occupation or walk of life, and need to have a strong desire to participate in one or more of the following:
- Be part of a growing legion of people willing to help us share factual and accurate information about health and nutrition through word-of-mouth, social media, public speaking, print opportunities and more. Share this information with your friends and neighbors, in the workplace, at church or school, to social and business groups, and others.
- Volunteer to assist House of Hope in our gardens and farm, pantries or other programs.
- Share your expertise with us, if applicable, in the area of health and nutrition.
- Share what you grow. Already growing your own food? Share the bounty from your garden or fruit trees with one of our Client Choice pantries.
- Conduct a healthy food drive focused on heart healthy non-perishable items.
Founding Partners in the Hope for Health and Nutrition Initiative: