Ohio is ranked the third-worst state for food insecurity in the United States, with a significant increase since 2012 (from 6.4 percent to 7.5 percent). The United Methodist Church for All People is rising up to meet the needs of its community.
Food insecurity is the inability to provide sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life; it is built on food availability, access, and use. Ohio is ranked the third-worst state for food insecurity in the United States, with a significant increase since 2012 (from 6.4 percent to 7.5 percent). Food insecurity is the inability to provide sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life; it is built on food availability, access, and use. A local community survey (February 2015) revealed that the two most significant barriers to healthy eating were:
- The high cost of nutritious food
- The time it takes to prepare fresh meals
The United Methodist Church for All People recognized that wellness is both physical and spiritual. The church developed an organization called Community Development for All People (CD4AP). Through its Healthy Eating And Living (HEAL) program, CD4AP has based its work on overcoming these barriers.
CD4AP is a community-development organization located in the South Side of Columbus, Ohio. It runs a series of programs including affordable housing, healthy eating and living initiatives, free distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, child/youth development, and parent engagement.
Global Ministries has partnered with CD4AP, providing grant funding to aid in the improvement of the overall health and wellness of the community. In the first six months of 2016, CD4AP provided 354,965 pounds of free produce to a food-insecure community. In addition to increasing access to fruits and vegetables, 1,258 unduplicated families participated in 292 hours of health education. As a result, 62 percent of participants improved their diet and 65 percent of people are more physically active. Recipes and health lessons are available for families online at https://c4apcookbook.wordpress.com/.
Families are learning to make healthy meals together. So far this year, 390 adults and 59 kids have attended classes in their demonstration kitchen and at Lincoln Park Elementary School. Many people have described the classes as “fun” as they have tried new foods. So far, 3,756 unduplicated family members have been taught healthy principles, such as applying the practices of “MyPlate,” label reading, and utilizing healthy recipes based on foods available at CD4AP’s Fresh Market.