Kewaunee County: Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity
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In 2018, Kewaunee County formed a workgroup to address the county’s nutrition and physical activity needs. An astonishing 50–65 people came out to attend the meeting. Community members at the workgroup meeting and the Community Health Assessment identified that many people in the county were unfamiliar with healthy options available to them in their rural communities.
The group continued to meet and form solutions. What did they decide to do? They initiated walking groups to encourage exercise. A walking group was created for three municipalities and led by local partners. The partner leaders included: Prevea Health, Bellin Health, and Door County Medical Clinic. Each municipality held a walking group on a different evening of the week to give participants the opportunity to take part in a group walk three nights a week.
But Kewaunee County didn’t stop there. The workgroup also became involved with three of the four local grocery stores. The stores posted a new healthy recipe each week and displayed the ingredients in one spot of the store to make them an easy grab. One grocery store’s owner was involved in the workgroup and reported monthly that the recipes and ingredients were very popular with customers.
Furthermore, the county teamed up with the family and community education (FACEs) classes within each school district for nutrition education. The group worked with local middle and high school students to create nutritional education boards to be posted and rotated throughout the community. The education boards covered various topics such as total calorie intake, appropriate salt intake, and sugary drinks. Boards were posted at the local libraries, local grocery stores, and area fitness centers.
Kewaunee County has continued the walking groups, healthy recipes at grocery stores, and nutrition education boards into 2019.
The county and partners continue to collaborate and organize new efforts promoting physical activity and nutrition. Efforts in 2019 included:
- Hosting lunch and learns at the public health building in which all 150 county employees were invited to join in 30 minutes of led exercise.
- Working with local Boy Scouts to create bicycle quick-fix stations along local trails.
- Conducting a survey for county members in order to address the unhealthy foods environment in the community. The survey was focused on identifying the types of foods community members would like to see on local restaurant menus that largely serve unhealthy food. Survey information will be reported back to local restaurants and they will be encouraged to add and promote more healthy choices.
- Compiling the names of all local fitness centers and activity options into a booklet and distributing to all local clinics and other partners to inform community members of opportunities for physical activity. This includes local yoga studios, gyms, dance classes, and more!