Community Health Works hosts "On The Table Macon"
In my new role as Director of Communications for Community Health Works, I am learning a lot about things that matter! Let me be more specific. Yesterday, "On the Table Macon", an initiative made possible with funding of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, leadership from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. This event brought thousands of us together, where we got to listen, share ideas, and most importantly, start a community connection and dialog on a variety of topics. The continued goal, working together to maximize each of our organization's missions where areas of help are needed most.
There were over 100 hosts (one being, Community Health Works), ranging from area health care providers, county commissioners, to a few area schools. Our first session took place at 7:30 on Wednesday morning and our topic of conversation was "food access". According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "food access is described as "limited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food may make it harder for some Americans to eat a healthy diet. There are many ways to measure food store access for individuals and for neighborhoods, and many ways to define which areas are food deserts. Neighborhoods that lack healthy food sources."
The (USDA) definition regarding food access, takes into account at least some of the following indicators:
- Accessibility to sources of healthy food, measured by distance to a store or by the number of stores in an area.
- Individual-level resources that may affect accessibility, such as family income or vehicle availability.
- The average income of the neighborhood and the availability of public transportation.
In our food access sessions, we talked about the lack of food access, especially in the downtown section of Macon. When an area doesn't have adequate food access, it is referred to as a "food desert". Having the opportunity to meet people who live and work in our community provided invaluable data, ideas, along with suggestions for solutions. I would like to thank everyone who made this event possible, and each place who signed up to be a host, and each person who showed up with their voice.
I can honestly say, it was an honor to be a part of this initiative and I look forward to building the relationships and connections from yesterdays events.