When Vida Benjamin came to Promiseland Child Care center on the far eastside of Indianapolis, she’d been recently laid off and was interested in volunteering and being with the children, never expecting she’d stumble on a new passion. Clearly gifted with the children, one day she was asked if she might be interested in joining Promiseland on staff, and today she’s been its director for over four years. Promiseland is a Paths to QUALITY level 3 licensed, registered, child care ministry, housed in Calvary Temple "The Caring Place” church. Promiseland serves 65 children, ages 6 weeks through 5 years, and has a special program for older children during school breaks.
A couple of Mondays ago at the Sharing Place food pantry in Lawrence Township it was 11 degrees outside and a line was already forming for the pantry 30 minutes before it was scheduled to open. For the people waiting, this would be their one opportunity to access food from the Sharing Place all month. Until recently, the Sharing Place didn’t give a lot of thought to the nutrition of the food its shoppers were accessing – food is food for someone who is hungry. But Jump IN for Healthy Kids’ Community Demonstration Project in Lawrence and the Far Eastside had changed that, and changed the pantry’s layout, signage, and offerings for the better.
2016 Year in Review - part two in a series of four
Jump IN’s mission is to promote policies and practices that create healthy environments where families and children have real opportunities to make healthy choices and engage in healthy behaviors. Research shows that if healthy nutrition and physical activity policies can be implemented in the places where children and families spend most of their time, their health will likely improve.
In Part One of this Year In Review series, we described how we’re creating “Healthy Places” by improving the policies and practices at schools, child care centers, and worksites to promote better nutrition and physical activity. In this second segment, we look at our efforts to create "Healthy Neighborhoods" where families live, work, and play.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person’s zip code is more likely to determine their health status than their genetic code. A neighborhood’s “social determinants of health” – factors such as income, educational attainment, access to health care and other resources – directly impact the health status of the residents there.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GREATER LAWRENCE/FAR EASTSIDE – The Greater Lawrence/Far Eastside community – comprised of the City of Lawrence and southern Lawrence Township – has been selected as one of 50 communities across the country to compete in the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge for a chance at a $250,000 grand prize.
The Challenge, a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, will award a total of $1.5 million to small and mid-sized cities, counties, and federally-recognized tribes that are able to show measurable change in their communities by implementing health innovations and data-driven solutions during the two-year challenge. Hundreds of entities applied to be a part of the Challenge.
Greater Lawrence/Far Eastside proposed a Healthy Families Healthy Children initiative in partnership with Jump IN for Healthy Kids as its health challenge. The initiative will work to reduce childhood obesity in the greater Lawrence community by creating healthy environments where families can make healthy choices to improve their children’s health.
Collective effort required to overcome complex obstacles to healthy living
Q: What brings together a Republican mayor, a Democrat township trustee, business and hospital executives, school administrators, directors of several youth organizations, early childhood care providers, community development advocates, and public health officials?