Elroy Brown, Executive Director for Mississippi County Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Arkansas and Dedric Davis, Master Gardner, were recently featured on KAIT 8, ABC’s local affiliate in Jonesboro, raising awareness of the Body & Soul program. Promoting cancer prevention in the African American community is the focus of the program.
Through a grant from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition (ACC), the program targets church-based families to educate them about the importance of eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day with the goal of reducing the amount of fast food consumed, and increasing the consumption of healthy homegrown foods.
The program focuses on one the Arkansas Cancer Plan’s goals under the Prevention Chapter (Chapter 1) – to promote cancer prevention and health lifestyles through nutrition and physical activity.
Developed by the National Cancer Institute, the Body & Soul program targets 4,900 congregants of 16 churches in the North East corner of the Arkansas Delta. Specifically designed for African American churches, its goal is to educate the community about improved nutrition, exercise and tobacco prevention in order to reduce cancer health disparities.
In collaboration with the Ministerial Alliance the program takes advantage of one of the community’s strongest infrastructures – the church. Body & Soul will use peer-to-peer communication to work toward increased nutrition, exercise and cessation through Stamp Out Smoking’s 1-800-QUIT- NOW program. Parishioners have access to community gardening opportunities, increasing the availability of healthy nutritious foods. The collaboration with local Master Gardeners also takes advantage of underused land and three acres of Delta farmland dedicated for community gardening by the First Missionary Baptist Church of Blytheville. Media advocacy for the program is provided by the Blytheville Boys and Girls Club.
To learn more about the project, contact:
PO Box 1481
Blytheville, AR 72315