Health Department’s Step ONE Teaching Garden Grants Now Available

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Health Department’s Step ONE (Optimize with Nutrition and Exercise) program offers grants to neighborhoods and organizations to begin and sustain teaching gardens.  

"The purpose of the Step ONE teaching gardens is to demonstrate to children and families the importance of food choices for overall health; and provide opportunities for people to learn valuable skills such as communication, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership," officials said. "The combination of distance to a healthy food retail outlet and poverty create what the US Department of Agriculture calls a 'food desert.' According to USDA and Census Bureau data, about 72,000 people in Chattanooga and Hamilton County live in food deserts, with about 23,000 (32 percent) of those people living in poverty.

"People who live in food deserts tend to suffer from more chronic diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. The presence of fresh, healthy food choices, along with regular physical activity, is critical in reversing these trends."

“The Step ONE garden program seeks to change the relationship we have with food,” said Step ONE Program Manager John Bilderback, “When people, especially children, are involved in the process of preparing, planting, maintaining, and harvesting gardens, research shows they are more likely to eat the fruits and vegetables they produce. By changing our food habits we are building a healthier future for our county.”  

Since December 2008, Step ONE has funded 50 teaching gardens around Hamilton County. Any organization such as neighborhood associations, churches, schools, businesses, or daycares may apply. New teaching garden grants are awarded in the amount of $1,000, and previous grantees can apply for $250 for up to 3 years. Now through Sept. 1, Step ONE will be accepting applications and the group should be ready to launch their garden early next spring. Application materials can be found on the Step ONE website.

Current grant recipients have this to say:

“In many ways this garden project is metaphorical to our school…we take in students (seeds) and provide them a nurturing environment; we give them everything they need to grow and become strong enough to be transplanted into a new environment.” – Hamilton County High School.

“The garden is therapeutic as it gives our clients something to work on and see the literal fruits of their labor.” – The Next Door.

“The teaching gardens teach more than just good nutrition,” says Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, "they are teaching core values such as unity, cooperation, relationship building, and leadership to people of all ages. When these values take root in the garden, they take root in our community.”

To apply for the teaching garden grants, visit the Step ONE website or call 423-209-8090.

Physician Rooted In Chattanooga Branches Out To Dubai

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin held a healthcare education seminar in Dubai on Dec. 26. The Dubai event was a pre-conference tour to kickoff the annual AAPI Global Healthcare Summit—a major event which took place in Kolkata, India Dec. 2831 and drew over 500 participants from all over the world. Under the direction of Chattanooga’s own Dr. Anuj Chandra, ... (click for more)

Free Hope CPR Class Offered Feb. 10 And 26

A free Hope CPR class will be offered at the Hamilton Family YMCA, 7430 Shallowford Road.  It will be offered both Saturday, Feb. 10, from 11 a.m.-noon and Monday, Feb. 26, from 8-9 p.m.  This simplified CPR class is not for certification. For certified classes or more details contact Judy Eaves at (click for more)

Young Gets 23 Years In North Chattanooga Murder

Abram "AB" Young pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to a murder in North Chattanooga and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Young was 17 at the time of the 2015 slaying of 19-year-old Charles Holsey during a drug deal behind the Kangaroo on Dallas Road. He is now 20. Prosecutor Cameron Williams said the sentence for second-degree murder will be served at 100 percent. Young ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Under Winter Weather Advisory With Snow Possible; Most Schools Close; Many Courts Cancelled

Chattanooga is under a Winter Weather Advisory for Tuesday with snow possible. The front was still west of the city at daybreak. It was uncertain whether Chattanooga might just be out of the band of snow that was coating Nashville and some other Tennessee cities. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Tuesday "due to the significant threat of snow in the area during the school ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vulgar Trump & More

Nothing rankles me more than seeing obscenities and vulgarity that appears in today’s liberal media, not to dare mention our public forum. Understand, I will use “damn” when no other word will fit as well. I’ll use “hell” as an exclamation point sometimes and I also may quote an aggressor in a story where he threatens to whip another’s “ass.” But our President reached an all-time ... (click for more)