If you think you have COVID-19, first of all, don’t panic. There are a lot of experienced medical professionals in our area who can help you. We’ll take you through what you should do, step by step.Continue Reading
Category: Health and Human Services
Written by the Public Health Department
Healthy can mean different things for different people. We know healthy eating should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. But for thousands of people in our community, finding those foods is a challenge. You may have a neighbor, a friend, a coworker who is food insecure. It could be because they don’t have enough money for fresh vegetables. Or maybe they live in a food desert, which is a neighborhood with low access to healthy and affordable food.Continue Reading
By now you’ve probably heard the news: we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. That means physical health is taking the spotlight, but it’s important to pay attention to our mental health too. As routines and lives shift, it’s natural to experience stress and anxiety.
How you manage that stress depends on many personal and situational factors. But there are common signs that stress and anxiety may be getting the best of you.Continue Reading
Written with Mecklenburg County Public Information colleagues.
Now that COVID-19 has travelled to the U.S., we’re all taking great care to exercise our very best hand washing habits. And while it shouldn’t take a worldwide outbreak to get us there, the important thing is that it’s happening! By now you’ve probably seen the Atlanta Magazine article citing 9 Atlanta songs to help you wash your hands for 20 full seconds just like the CDC recommends (because who really wants to sing Happy Birthday twice?). We thought it would be fun to take a similar approach–but with a North Carolina twist! Okay, they aren’t North Carolina songs per-se, but the artists can proudly be claimed by our state.
So when you’re perfecting your hand washing technique, here are a few options to help you keep time.Continue Reading
Winter is a magical time of year. When I see snow flurries, I think of making a snowman, skiing in the mountains, or sitting near a warm, crackling fire at home. But not everyone has these same thoughts. Nearly 3,200 people in Mecklenburg County are homeless. Winter to them means cold conditions and the struggle to keep warm and fed.
What can we as a compassionate society do to help our homeless neighbors? Here are a few ideas:Continue Reading
It’s almost Thanksgiving – the biggest meal I cook all year. I always get a little anxious when I think about feeding so many people – What kind of turkey should I buy? Fresh or frozen? Stuffed or unstuffed? How do I store my turkey? And how long should I cook it to make sure it’s safe to eat? The last thing I want is for someone to get sick!
Here are four tips (courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control) to help you safely prepare your Thanksgiving turkey meal.Continue Reading
Harvesting Health with Edible Orchards
We’ve all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There’s a reason for that! Good nutrition is vital to good health and disease prevention. And it’s essential to “growing up big and strong” as my grandmother used to say. Eating nutritious foods (along with a little exercise, of course) can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Those are some of the leading causes of death in our County and the country.
Seems easy enough, right? If I eat healthy food, I will be healthier. But it’s not that simple. Not everyone has access to healthy food. I know! It’s hard to believe that in 2020, there are people in our community who don’t have access to a grocery store to get the foods they need to live healthy lives.
An Idea is Planted
Reggie Singleton, one of Public Health’s policy coordinators, was inspired by the fruit tree orchards he grew up with in the Sea Islands of Charleston, SC. He suggested partnering with other community organizations to install orchards and a system for distributing the food to the communities with food insecurity. And the Edible Landscape Project was born!
Signs of Success
With support and partnership from community organizations, Public Health and its partners have established multiple orchards across priority communities in Mecklenburg County. The orchards produce plums, figs, pears, peaches and persimmons. They have even expanded to plant seasonal herbs and vegetables like squash, string beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Neighbors harvest, process and distribute food to nearby community members directly or through the church food pantry. To date, their efforts have supplied fresh, nutritious food to over 25,000 people in the County. Here’s a look inside how the orchards work.
Earlier this year, the Edible Landscapes Project received a Best In Category award from the National Association of Counties. This project combined with farmers markets and healthy corner stores is helping communities get better access to healthy food.
A big thanks to our community partners for helping establish and nurture our Edible Landscapes: N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, TreesCharlotte, Village HeartBeat, Mecklenburg Extension Master Gardener, and The Males Place Inc.
Spoken like a true veteran!
John Batts started his career as a Veteran Service Officer with Community Support Services three years ago. He came in to apply for his VA benefits and received such good customer service, he asked if there was an internship opportunity. The rest is history!Continue Reading
Ditch the Carpool Line: 5 Reasons to Get Up and Get Active on Your Way to School
Contributed by Laura Thomason, MPH, Safe Routes to School Coordinator
Ever feel like your day consists of too much time spent in the car chauffeuring the kids from school to baseball practice and dance class and karate lessons and friends’ houses and the list goes on? Somedays it feels like we live in our car! But, now that school is back in session, it’s the perfect time to reflect on daily routines. Lots of families are changing things up by walking or biking or scooting to school. And you can too by joining our local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) movement.
SRTS works with parents, school administrators and communities to improve and increase opportunities for kids to bike or walk to school safely. Here are five reasons to get up, and get your kids active in the mornings (and if you’re always pressed for time to exercise like I am, it can benefit you too):Continue Reading
Find Deals on Fresh Food While Supporting Local Vendors
The best part of my Saturday mornings is meandering the local farmers market. I get to explore new vendors, sample fresh produce and engage with other people in my community. Not only am I investing in my community, but I’m getting fresh food at a great price.
Here are four tips to save some green during your next farmers market visit.Continue Reading