House of Hope Urges Public to Help Local Residents Improve Health and Nutrition
House of Hope is announcing a new Hope for Health and Nutrition Initiative designed to raise awareness about the high levels of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in the 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 CEO, Rob Ranieri states, “We are seeking to add ambassadors and partners to help advance the initiative for all residents, especially low-income families and individuals who currently suffer from these challenges in greater numbers and are at higher risk levels. For many local individuals and families, the health of the household is an obstacle to success.”
As for House of Hope’s role, the agency is working to improve and expand access to healthier foods for their clients and partner agencies, while also offering information and education on health and nutrition by providing the following programs: four client choice pantries offering a variety of fresh produce at no cost to clients; community nutrition gardens in East Stuart, Golden Gate and Banner Lake used for food production as well as gardening and nutrition programming; the Gardening to Grow Healthy Children program which reaches over 500 children and adults annually; free health and nutrition programs at the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in conjunction with The Florida Department of Health; and the Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center, a state licensed facility used to prepare and package healthy food options for both residential households in need and clients experiencing homelessness.
Founding partners in the Hope for Health and Nutrition Initiative include The Children's Services Council of Martin County, Community Foundation of Martin & St. Lucie Counties, Hobe Sound Community Chest, Palm City Farms Produce & Market, United Way of Martin County, and the Florida Department of Health Martin County.
The public is invited to join the cause via the Health and Nutrition Ambassador Program, a countywide 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. Multiple opportunities are available to participate as an ambassador. Those interested in signing on to become an ambassador or to learn more about House of Hope’s Health and Nutrition Initiative are invited to visit hohmartin.org/HopeforHealth or call Chelsea Paine at (772) 286-4673 x 1002.
About House of Hope
Founded in 1984, House of Hope now touches the lives of about 6,000 people per month with services that include basic needs -- food, clothing, furniture, financial assistance -- and long-term case management that help people build life skills for a more self-sufficient future. The agency has service centers and thrift stores in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach. The nutrition gardens and Elisabeth Lahti Nutrition Center provide nourishing and wholesome food to the community as well as vocational training opportunities for local career seekers. House of Hope recently opened the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment in Stuart offering the community free programs, technology, and workshops designed to enhance life skills, earning potential, health and overall well-being. For more information about House of Hope, visit hohmartin.org or schedule a tour (772)286-4673.
Photos by Tara Jacobs:
Bannerlakebounty - BLAST students at Banner Lake show off the bounty they grew during their afterschool program.
Diane in HydroHouse - Garden volunteer Diane Pawliczek harvests fresh hydroponic greens at the Agricultural and Vocational Training Farm in Palm City.
East Stuart Bounty - The East Stuart Community Garden yielded a rainbow of healthy fruits, vegetables and herbs for the neighborhood.
Harvest Day East Stuart - Neighbors and volunteers from the East Stuart neighborhood gathered to share in the bounty grown on the once barren plot of land.
GGCEcookingclass - The well-attended Gardening to Grow Healthy Families class taught parents and children how to grow and harvest basil and tomatoes in order to prepare their own healthy pesto dinner.