Community Stories:

St. Paul: Salad in a Jar Initiative

Community team focusing on simple healthy initiative that gains momentum with other partners

Champions for Change Community Coalition in St. Paul, partnered with the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund, Alberta Health Services in 2015 to work together on a community based research project. A team of representatives from this coalition and other community organizations, schools, worksites and interested community members, created an action plan to promote healthy lifestyle choices and environments that support cancer prevention within the community.

The community team focused on promoting healthy eating, and chose to engage schools and home economics classes to learn how to prepare “salads in a jar.” This creative project involves using mason jars to make, store and carry a salad.  When you layer salad ingredients in to a mason jar, you can create a variety of delicious salad options that are ideal for packed lunches at school or work.

An unexpected outcome of this project occurred when the County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS attended a “Year in Review” presentation the community team hosted to highlight the great work going on. FCSS loved the ‘salad in a jar’ initiative and was excited to partner! FCSS was able to help increase community awareness and engagement by providing another partnership that assisted in developing beautiful recipe cards. Two summer students were also hired to develop and deliver workshops. Champions for Change provided the funds for salad ingredients to those who participated in the workshops.

This resulted in the County of St. Paul and Elk Point FCSS bringing workshops to 11worksites and 4 senior’s centers within the community of St. Paul and surrounding area. Over 285 men and women attended these interactive presentations facilitated by high school summer students where participants got to make a salad in a jar at lunch time and learn easy salad recipes. Participant evaluations indicated that this was an easy way they could continue to eat healthy. Worksites stated it was a great team building activity and were interested in future healthy eating workshops.

The ‘salad in a jar’ project is a great example of how multi-sectoral partnerships can collaborate on a healthy eating initiative that is fun and easy and turn it into a community wide awareness initiative for young and old alike.

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