Here are some ways to make your faith site healthier.
1. Form a health ministry or youth health committee
Champions of holistic health, especially among youth, are within your faith site and can direct nutrition and physical activity opportunities.
How to Form a Health Ministry
Planning Guide for Faith Communities
2. Adopt a healthy food policy
Adopting a healthy food policy means that your site commits to making healthy food available. Examples might be offering bananas, water, and fruit. Here’s a great example of a healthy food policy.
Meet Well Pledge Template
Sample Meet Well Pledge from Live Well San Diego
3. Start a Walking Club
Some faith sites take a brisk walk after prayers, services, or faith activities. Other sites pray while walking. Follow these steps to start a walking club.
Start a Walking Club
4. Become a summer meal site
The Summer Meals Program is officially called the Summer Food Service Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to ensure children under the age of 18 do not go hungry during the summer months, when school meals are not available. Your faith site can become a Summer Food Service Site, and meet the needs of children in your community. Find out more information specifically for faith organizations.
Summer Meals Toolkit
A Guide for Faith Communities
5. Make a difference in the walkability around your faith site
You can help make streets more pedestrian and bicycle friendly around your place of worship. There may be a dangerous intersection, no crosswalk, or poor sidewalks near your site. Learn how to assess and advocate for safer streets and sidewalks.
Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking
A Resident's Guide
6. Start a garden at your faith site
Some faith communities donate the food from the garden to a food pantry. Others sell the produce to raise funds for youth mission trips. And some bless faith site attendees with fresh fruits and vegetables! Here’s a guide to getting started.
Start a Community Garden
A Step by Step Guide