Community health action discussed in Prairie Twp.

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

In an effort to improve the health of local residents, Prairie Township is partnering with Franklin County Public Health to implement a variety of community tactics.

The tactics came from a community health action team (CHAT) formed in the township. The team, which includes community stakeholders like faith, fire, police and OhioHealth leaders, aims to identify health issues in the community and take steps to correct the problems.

“We have developed these community health action teams in different jurisdictions throughout the city,” said Meghan O’brien, community health planner for Franklin County Public Health. “After we have these stakeholder meetings, we then develop community health profiles and health data about each community and determine what the needs are in the community and what we can do to improve the community health.”

The major issues that were identified in Prairie Township after the stakeholder meetings were healthy eating, food access and physical education. The group has already taken steps to implement improvements in these areas.

“We have already started a free produce giveaway the third Saturday of every month at the fire department,” O’brien said. “We also are in the process of creating a community cookbook to provide people with easy, affordable recipes.”

The cookbook will be a collection of recipes from community members. Currently CHAT is asking township residents to submit their favorite, wholesome recipes for inclusion in the cookbook. A few examples of healthy, affordable recipes Obrien has asked community members for includes grain pasta side dish, a tasty lunchtime salad or a light yogurt parfait.

“We thought it would be great to solicit the community for recipes that focus on healthy eating that is relatively simple,” O’brien said. “Also, we thought community members would love having a free resource where they can easily access recipes.”

The cookbook will be printed and also live online and will continually be updated. Currently, organizers plan on having printed copies of the cookbook at community meeting places, like the community center, libraries and the township meeting hall. The location of the online version is yet to be determined.

The cookbook will be in English and Spanish, so all community members can enjoy it.

“We are still accepting recipes, so get yours in today,” O’brien said. “We are not sure when this is coming out yet, but we hope to have it out by the end of the fall or early winter.”

Finally, in an effort to increase physical activity in the township, CHAT also will be creating a map of suggested walking paths. This map will also be printed and online and will be available at area meeting places.

If you are interested in contributing to the Prairie Township Community Cookbook, contact Meghan O’brien at meghanobrien@franklincountyohio.gov.

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