Healthy Happy Hearts and Hands!

The Cause

Healthy Happy Hearts and Hands! This idea is to leverage the strength of three not for profit organizations to benefit the children, youth and families in a rural Calgary community (Airdrie, Crossfield, Irricana, Beiseker). Improving access to healthier food, educating WHY healthy food, activity, sleep build better brains, and wrap around services for families is paying it forward for healthier futures and lives. The budget is for $11,000 which will include NSTEP Level 1, Level 2 Certificate and Chef on NSTEP education/training and support of rural Closer to Home staff, Fresh Routes mobile market delivering healthy food to community/school location including food gift cards. Closer to Home staff’s expertise is working in this community supporting 0-18 years and families. Closer to Home, (CTH) is a charitable organization that facilitates growth and belonging in communities we serve. Within the Closer to Home umbrella we provide many different programs & services. Viewpoints is one of the programs we offer to support overall mental wellness for youth in Airdrie, Crossfield, Irricana and Beiseker. CTH has conducted community social needs assessments and have found that there is a lack of knowledge of healthy eating and food security is an issue in those communities. With partnership with NSTEP we have already been able to serve 160 youth in our summer camp with their Chef on NSTEP programs and are hoping to continue this in the smaller communities. Fresh Routes is bringing fresh produce to our NW location for families, we want to replicate this as well for this project.

Fresh Routes is a non-profit social enterprise focused on creating innovative ways to bring fresh affordable food to those who need it most. Our Mobile Grocery Store, allows us to set up in places where there may not usually be access to fresh food, or even a grocery store.Unlike traditional food banks or hamper programs, Fresh Routes provides produce at a reduced cost, so that customers can shop and choose what they want, in a dignified and empowered way. Everyone is welcome to shop at our Mobile Grocery Pop-up Locations.

NSTEP registered charity with a mission to educate children to EAT better, WALK more, LIVE longer. NSTEP education is for children, youth and their families to learn, practice and apply health habits for life, to prevent chronic diseases.

Who Will it Benefit?

Children, youth, their families who take part in the programming that Closer to Home (CTH) offers. NSTEP's role is to educate the CTH staff working in Airdrie, Crossfield, Irricana and Beiseker. They have also identified that these families many are low income, there are no large grocery stores to buy fresh produce., and you can't have good mental or physical health if you are not eating well or are inactive. CTH staff in Calgary took NSTEP certificate education and saw the benefit of Chef on NSTEP for their summer camps. Fresh Routes opened up a market at the NW CTH location this fall, where families will get a one time free $25 gift card to purchase the healthy produce. This project Healthy Happy Hearts and Hands is to replicate the work done in NW Calgary into a rural community.