SNAP Ed Agent in Jefferson Parish Works Magic to Transform a Shrewsbury Neighborhood

Karen Jones  |  11/27/2018 4:38:08 PM

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The Challenge

Community meetings began in the Shrewsbury neighborhood to improve the lives of its residents, both youth and adults.The LSU AgCenter felt like they had something to contribute to the neighborhood; helping the residents to adopt healthy food choices and get them to be more active.

The Solution

The SNAP Ed Nutrition Agent at the LSU AgCenter in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, worked with community partners to help the individuals in the Shrewsbury neighborhood to improve their outdoor playground and assist with the building of gardens.

The Results

In November 2018, the partners accomplished the following in Shrewsbury:

  • Established a garden with garden boxes, raised beds with vegetables, a pollinator garden and an area for meditation and reading/library box on an empty lot
  • Taught a series of 6 Nutrition lessons for the youth at the after school program at Marine Baptist Church
  • Participated in a Health Fair and food distribution at Jefferson Presbyterian Food Bank by adding the Ten Tips handouts to the food bags
  • Participated in the food distribution at Hazel Hurst Community Center’s Food Bank by adding the Ten Tips handouts to the food boxes
  • Completed playground stencil makeovers, including painted hop scotch and other physical activities (jumping jacks, sprint, squat, and plank) near the repainted basketball courts of the playground

These accomplishments would not have been possible without collaboration between the LSU AgCenter Extension and the following partners:

  • Ochsner Health Systems volunteers
  • Jefferson Parish President’s Office Administration
  • Marine Baptist Church member volunteers
  • Hands On New Orleans organization volunteers

The stencil patterns were designed to encourage children to move and develop important physical skills. Partners cleaned the playground surfaces prior to paint day, recruited painting volunteers, obtained the stencils, designed the project, and helped with media coverage.

Teachers are thrilled with these new opportunities to teach through movement and experiential learning!

Sustaining Success

Short-term goals are to:

  • Add more garden education for the youth at the Afterschool program
  • Start teaching the Faithful Families curriculum at Zion Baptist Church in the Shrewsbury neighborhood.

A long-term goal is to implement these physical activity and nutrition improvements in another neighborhood in Jefferson Parish.

Stories from the Field

The LSU AgCenter Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) aims to inspire and empower the limited resource residents in Louisiana, to improve their health and the health of their communities through healthy eating and active living. The program facilitates this through education and community change in partnership with many others. The SNAP Ed Agent in Jefferson Parish shares this story to highlight a snapshot of some of the SNAP Ed work conducted by local parish Nutrition Agents and highlight the many community partners to achieve the common goal of a salubrious lifestyle.

Background

The LSU AgCenter Extension has Area Nutrition Agents working with General Nutrition and SNAP Ed Nutrition in all 64 Parishes.Agents teach a series of nutrition lessons to circumvent the obesity problems in our state.

Expanding our Reach

We hope this community story inspires you to envision how to create a healthier tomorrow!

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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

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