Grantee Blog

St. Joe’s Food Pantry – IT WAS AMAZING!

Some days are better than other’s. Thursday, July 12, 2018, was one of those great days for Shaping Elizabeth, St. Joe’s Social Services and the 55 people who attended the first Group Lifestyle Balance classes designed to prevent Diabetes as well as help control Diabetes for those already diagnosed.

Walking into the room you could feel the energy, engagement and excitement of the participants and staff.  I was overwhelmed with the number of people who were gathered together to discuss their own health and how to be healthier in Spanish and English at the same time in the same room.

The road to this day was not easy.  We have been working with St. Joe’s food pantry for over a year.  We have brought nutrition education information and classes.  We surveyed what people needed and what would work for them.  Out nutrition educator has been at the pantry many times to speak with staff and patrons, building trust.  Small steps leading to something many people said would not and could not happen.  But it did!

We learned: Class needed to be in Spanish and English, held at the pantry, pantry staff needed to be engaged and open to change, curriculums needed to be modified and everyone needed to adjust to a little chaos.

Small wins such as the man who learned Hypertension and High Blood Pressure were the same thing and he was able to speak with Mike Johnson about small changes to diet and activity that could help.

At the second meeting people were early, excited and ready to continue the learning.  For the next 12 weeks we will be there ready and willing to adapt, change and listen in order to work together for improved health and to reduce diabetes.

Success will be measured with pre-post surveys, attendance and results.

Meeting people where they are and layering interventions while listening to their needs this is the Shaping Elizabeth Change Model.

About the Grantee

The Gateway Family YMCA

Shaping Elizabeth's goal is to reduce Food Insucurity while improving healthy eating. We strive to meet people where they gather and bring several interventions together to acheive this goal.