FoodWIse's Healthy Community Corner by Amy Macemon, FoodWIse Healthy Communities Coordinator and Nutrition Educator
Society is everchanging, and over time, I like to think it’s for the better. The only way we can ensure that change is for the better is by acting in the best interest of all people. February is Black History Month and should be a time for deep reflection on how our actions either are or aren’t moving forward all people. Recently, I watched Mellody Hobson’s TED Talk, “Color Blind or Color Brave” and her call to action for each of us is to be “a little more bold in our conversations about race.” There are still many quantifiable racial disparities in our society, such as intergenerational wealth, household income, job opportunities, etc., and by bringing those disparities to light with your friends, family, and employer, we can ignite actionable changes in our communities.
One way to learn more about these topics is to attend a training right here in Kenosha. “United Way of Kenosha County, in partnership with The Mary Lou & Arthur F. Mahone Fund, Herzing University, and Snap-on Incorporated, launches Building Unity in CommUNITY: An Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Education Series. The goal of the series is to provide small businesses and nonprofits in Kenosha County with a training resource that increases individual awareness and understanding of equity, diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias, and ultimately, leads to more equitable workplaces for customers and employees.”
An example of a local organization engaging in such intentional work is coming from the Sharing Center. Executive Director, Sharon Pomaville, dedicated their Leadership Kenosha project to increasing access to the Sharing Center’s resources by increasing language access in a variety of forms including their website, family newsletter, all county-wide, state, and federal resource materials, their online shopping service and interpretation services for all languages including ASL. Additionally, they’ve worked with Kenosha County Human Services and Land Management to ensure that their outreach reaches all audiences who could benefit from their services. These types of intentional efforts provide equitable access to resources people need to better themselves, their families, and their lives.
Extension agencies are doing great work all over the United States and I wanted to highlight the “Happy Healthy” recipe collection and resources by Mississippi State University-Extension. I know our FoodWIse team is always promoting how to prepare dried beans as it is a VERY affordable way to create a filling main meal or side dish. View the “Happy Healthy” recipe and video for cooking dried beans in a slow cooker or their slow cooker rice and beans. Our team also talks about how to create salads that are filling, varied, and really tasty and they’ve also got a great video for that! You can also consider checking our recipe collections by the Extensions at Louisiana, Kansas and many other states.
When it comes to preparing new healthy recipes, you can review a year’s worth of affordable recipes that reflect seasonality and also include pantry staples by visiting FoodWIse’s “Weekly Featured Recipe” page. If you would like to be added to the email list to receive these recipes weekly, reach out to nutrition educator, Jillian Frideres at firstname.lastname@example.org.