Connecting Diverse Communities with Health and Nutrition
You cannot achieve environmental security and human development without addressing the basic issues of health and nutrition.”—Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Director-General of the World Health Organization
Aging and Disability Services is fortunate to collaborate with multiple community-based agencies, and one of those agencies is Tilth Alliance, a nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization on a mission to build a sustainable, healthy, and equitable food future.
Aging and Disability Services partnered with Tilth Alliance to creatively utilize Seattle Sweetened Beverage Tax funding to support health promotion programs across the city. This partnership aims at supporting holistic health for older people by offering nutrition education and Good Food Bags that contain culturally appropriate, locally sourced food items.
The funding supports up to 1,000 Good Food Bags that make their way to diverse populations throughout Seattle through health promotion programs offered by Sound Generations, Asian Counseling and Referral Services, Neighborhood House, Somali Health Board, Bush Hotel, and African Community Housing & Development.
Good Food Bags use the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate as the model for balanced, nutritious, and culturally appropriate meals. Each food bag includes organic fruits and vegetables sourced from Washington farms, a whole grain or starchy vegetable, and a healthy protein source. The bags also include a translated copy of the Healthy Eating Plate, recipe ideas, food storage tips, and nutrition education materials on a variety of topics, including heart disease, diabetes, and immune support. Future topics for future educational handouts may include food preservation.
As of August 2021, materials have been translated into more than 12 languages and have reached 743 participants in Seattle. The program is well on its way to meeting the goal of distributing 1,000 bags by the end of the year.
Thank you to Tilth Alliance and all the community agencies that support good nutrition, health, and wellness.
Contributor Mary Pat O’Leary, RN, BSN is a senior planner at Aging and Disability Services, a division of the Seattle Human Services Department. Read about previous partnerships with Seattle Tilth, including production of The Good Food Bag Toolkit, which grew from a successful Farm to Table pilot benefitting child care centers and senior meal programs, and the Seattle Tilth Community Good Food Project, funded by a Seattle Human Services Department 2017 Innovation Fund award (“Good Food Bags and Community Kitchens Provide Food for Ethnic Elders,” AgeWise, April 2018).
This article originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of AgeWise King County.