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Posted: April 11, 2018

New FoodFit program will spark healthy changes

Nutrition and easy physical activities empower low-income members of our community

On April 30, Community Connections Society will launch FoodFit, a 12-week program that brings low-income community members together to set goals, learn skills, and make measurable changes in overall health and fitness.

The goal of the FoodFit program, developed by Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC), is to support community members to become better nourished, more active, and less socially isolated.

Many preventable diseases are linked to unhealthy eating and low physical activity. Low-income families face barriers to healthy eating, contributing to higher rates of diet-related illness. Basic exercise, like walking, is excellent and easy to adopt. Beyond food and fitness skills and knowledge, what the FoodFit program also provides is the support, encouragement, and motivation for participants to make lasting changes towards living a healthier lifestyle.

“We can’t wait to delivery this program to our community! The FoodFit program will help over a 110 Cranbrook residents improve their health in a supportive, fun and social setting. We are very much looking forward to it,” said facilitator Sophie Larsen.

Funding for FoodFit comes from Community Food Centres Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Community Connections Society has received funding to staff, implement, and evaluate the FoodFit program over two years.

The funding is part of a broader move from CFCC to implement programs that bridge the divide between low-income and healthy living. CFCC has partnered with over 20 sites to implement the FoodFit program and to date, impacts from the program have been very positive: most FoodFit participants consumed more fruits and vegetables, cooked more healthy meals at home, moved more, and increased their social support networks.

“FoodFit really focuses on promoting fun, hands-on, realistic changes to diet and activity. People cook and walk together, set realistic goals, and are encouraged to notice and track the changes to how they feel. We’re seeing that small, consistent changes not only make people feel better, but can add up to measurable results in things like blood pressure and resting heart rate, all of which offers a great feedback loop,” said Kathryn Scharf, Chief Operating Officer at Community Food Centres Canada.

“Even as we continue to work toward a time when everyone can afford the food they need, FoodFit empowers people to make immediate changes in their lives, while also connecting them to broader community and social supports.”

Community Connections Society is joined by five other grantees selected from across Canada including: The Seed (Guelph, ON), Grandview Woodland Food Connection (Vancouver, BC), Scadding Court Community Centre (Toronto, ON), South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre (Wasaga Beach, ON) and The Ville Co-operative (Lower Queensbury, NB). These six grant recipients join the 15 organizations across Canada already running FoodFit in their community.

Community Food Centres Canada creates and supports vibrant community centres in low-income neighbourhoods that build health, belonging, and social justice through the power of food. For more information, visit www.cfccanada.ca or follow @aplaceforfood.

Community Connections Society of Southeast BC

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