Hurricane Katrina pitched a destructive blow to the residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana.
Grand Isle Programming – Hurricane Katrina pitched a destructive blow to the residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Just on the tip of the boot of the State, surrounded by water and a 2 hour drive from their parish AgCenter, residents of this community are often forgotten. But not for long! The Snap Ed Area Nutrition Agent from the LSU AgCenter in Jefferson Parish realized that this distressed community was not receiving much intervention. She formulated a plan to visit the island to teach six Nutrition lessons at the school. The seniors were being included. With budgets tight, the Nutrition Agent became fully aware that including the 4H Agents, would lighten that burden. 4H could register students, teach curriculum, and travel funds would be split.
Through a collaboration with the principal of Grand Isle School and the Snap Ed Nutrition Agent, Karen Jones and 4H Agents, meeting to identify the needs to provide the youth and seniors in our distressed urban area, providing information about the importance of eating a healthy diet and environmental issues and character development. With physical and physiological strains from dealing with the rebuilding after a devastating hurricane, and the rise in youth diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and poor performance in math and science, this plan was a perfect fit for the LSU Ag Center Extension, incorporating nutrition and 4H skills to address these issues.
A series of six nutrition classes, using research-based curriculum were taught. Students played MyPlate Bingo, learned about portion sizes, while enjoying a food demo tasting each week, (trail mix to edamame). A 4H lessons included peddling the smoothie bike to make fruit smoothies. The seniors were introduced to lower fat recipes. Lesson sheets, 10 Tips handouts, and recipes were distributed. Seniors received vegetable peelers and strainers to aid in their cooking at home. Physical Activity was encouraged for both groups. In-kind volunteer support from teachers and senior center workers aided in program delivery. Three groups of youth were impacted at the Grand Isle School for a total of 50 youth. A group of 2nd & 3RD grades, 7th graders, 9th graders. The youth reported to have learned a great deal about healthy snacking and would make the trail mix at home with their families. The edamame was a new protein food that most of the students enjoyed and they learned it is a Louisiana commodity.
4H was able to enroll 69 youth from the school.
Grand Isle Senior Center consisted of thirteen adults, and they were pleased to have an opportunity to attend a cooking demo and said they would use the recipes in the future. Lots of seafood is harvested in the Gulf of Mexico, so the seniors were happy to learn that foods like seafood are encouraged to be eaten at least twice a week.