In New York, The Walkers for Wellness program is bringing walking clubs and better nutrition to 100 faith-based organizations representing more than 10,000 New York City congregants of many faiths. Beth Hark Christian Counseling Center/Bethel Gospel Assembly, located in East Harlem, has started a walking club that meets twice a week. With the Center located across from Marcus Garvey Park, club participants are able to walk outdoors when the weather permits, or inside the large church building during inclement weather. Participants walk at least one mile per club gathering. In addition, an NYC DOHMH presentation on the contribution of sugary beverages to obesity led the Center to adopt healthful new food policies, including reducing the availability of sugar-sweetened beverages at all Center functions. A more nutritious drink option - healthy soda (seltzer water with a splash of 100% juice) - has been a big hit at Center events.

The Center has also increased the water options in vending machines and is continuing to work on reducing the number of vending machine slots dedicated to sugary drinks. Another faith-based organization, God's Battalion of Prayer Church, located in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, has also successfully implemented the Walkers for Wellness and healthier foods programs. Its walking club meets twice a week, and club participants walk two to three miles per scheduled gathering. In inclement weather, members are undeterred, and instead, climb the stairs of the church building.


Read the original profile on the CDC website.