January 31, 2015

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families receives grant to help dads and kids eat healthier

The Junior League of Columbia recently awarded $11,656 to the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families to help dads and their children eat right and have healthier, happier lives. The center sought the funds to enhance its health curriculum by focusing on nutrition and healthy eating, especially for children.

With the Junior League grant, the center will hire a part-time nutritionist or intern to assist Nurse Practitioner Dawn Pender in implementing nutritional activities. Under Pender’s guidance, the intern will research nutritional tips and budget-friendly meals and resources, develop a resource booklet on healthy eating, plan educational trips to grocery stores for fathers, and prepare healthy snack bags for children. The intern will also help foster local partnerships by connecting staff to community organizations and grocery stores that can support nutrition education and shopping experiences.

Fathers and children will also be provided the opportunity to participate in a Columbia’s Cooking class at the University of South Carolina to learn how to prepare a healthy meal and how healthy eating affects overall health.

The grant is one of 12 that the Junior League of Columbia recently awarded to local nonprofits. “We are proud to invest in these 12 local nonprofits through our Community Enrichment Grants and look forward to a future where the Junior League continues to have a positive impact on the Midlands community,” said Junior League President Ginny Hairston.

Frequently, low-income fathers have poor health themselves, in part because of a lifetime of bad food habits. Poor health is in turn a barrier to their playing an active, positive role in their children's lives. Fathers need access to nutrition education provided in an environment in which where they feel comfortable, so that they can positively influence the eating habits of their children and provide healthier meals and snacks for them.

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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