Story Behind the Curve
Secondary data from the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment showed that Onslow County scored poorly in quality of life in regards to access to exercise opportunities and healthy foods. Focus group data gathered during the same timeframe identified a lack of physical activity opportunities throughout the county and a need for healthier food selections. In an effort to increase the amount of free and accessible physical activities within the county, the Onslow County Health Department (OCHD) created the "Second Saturday Step Up" initiative, which held free, monthly classes open to the public. Due to COVID-19, OCHD was forced to pivot in the direction of addressing food insecurity within the community. OCHD partnered with Onslow County Senior Services to provide food boxes for individuals experiencing food insecurity while under isolation due to either testing positive or coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. As the community began the recovery process due to COVID-19, OCHD offered a "Healthy For Life" class, which focused on healthy eating on a budget.
Onslow County Senior Services
Onslow Memorial Hospital
Onslow County Department of Social Services
Onslow County Center NC Cooperative Extension
City of Jacksonville
Onslow County Parks and Recreation
Jacksonville Recreation and Parks
Onslow County Animal Services
OCHD has found that thinking creatively about what motivates or attracts residents to participate in events has helped to increase attendance and sustained engagement. Examples include gifting healthy food boxes for participants in the Healthy for Life program, as well as creating a nontraditional yoga class called "Kitten Yoga."
Why Is This Important?
Improving access to safe physical activity locations and healthier foods will benefit the community and improve the overall health of Onslow County residents. This is the baseline of chronic disease prevention. Our initiatives increase awareness of how to attain a healthier lifestyle and increase community engagement in various health-related activities.