Community Gardens - OCHD’s Office of Community Health, in partnership with Get Active Orlando, has worked to place a community garden in the Parramore community. There are 19 plots available for Parramore residents to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables. The garden is located on Robinson Street near Parramore Avenue. The Parramore Community Garden is a community beautification project that has transformed a vacant lot into a living green space. The garden has been providing healthy, affordable food for at least 4 planting seasons. The garden helps to encourage the neighborhood to eat healthy foods and get physical activity by working in and maintaining the garden. It also helps strengthen the community, and creates recreational and therapeutic opportunities.
Get Active Orlando: http://getactiveorlando.com/home/.
OCHD’s PACE EH project (Protocols for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health) is partnering with the Apopka Community Garden to strengthen the Apopka community; create recreational activity; and encourage healthy nutrition. The garden was started by the City of Apopka’s Commissioner Billie Dean and is located at the corner of 9th Street and Park Avenue. Plots are available for the residents of Apopka to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables. As a result of this effort, a vacant lot is being transformed into a living green space and the garden has been providing healthy, affordable food for at least 3 planting seasons.
Apopka Community Garden: http://apopkacommunitygarden.com/
City of Apopka: http://www.apopka.net/
Bicycle Give-a-way - The OCHD’s Office of Community Health, in partnership with Get Active Orlando, coordinates a semi-annual bicycle give-a-way to help increase physical activity for clients on a low-income. The bicycles given away have been confiscated by the Orlando Police Department and Lynx and restored by the Florida Freewheelers Bicycle Club. In addition to the bicycles, Get Active Orlando also gives the recipients helmets, lights, and locks. Through this partnership, more than 100 free bikes have been given away.
Orlando Police Department: http://www.cityoforlando.net/police/
Florida Freewheelers Bicycle Club: http://www.floridafreewheelers.com/.
Breastfeeding Program - The OCHD’s WIC (Women, Infants & children) Program breastfeeding initiation rate is one of the highest in the state. With the help of an initiative called the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program, the WIC breastfeeding rate is currently approximately 80% compared to the statewide rate of 73.9%. WIC safeguards the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. The service is important because according to the U.S. General Accounting Office, for every dollar spent in prenatal WIC participation, there is a savings of $3.50 over the next 18 years in other costs such as hospitalization, outpatient care, special education, and supplemental income for disabled children. The WIC Program has 10 peer counselors who work in clinics providing one on one and group classes to encourage and support pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. They are able to help mothers who may be having challenges and difficulties learning to breastfeed. Also, according to research studies, breast fed children have fewer allergies, as well as a reduced risk of diabetes, some childhood cancers, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Studies also show that women who breast feed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers, anemia, and osteoporosis. Some studies also suggest breastfeeding lowers the risk of obesity in children.