Seventy-one community nonprofits and local government organizations are the newest recipients of Neighborhood Health Connection grants from Allina Health, five of those will benefit the community of Faribault. The grants support ongoing activities that promote social connections through healthy eating and physical activity among adults and families in local communities.

The 71 selected programs were chosen through a competitive application process that was open to community nonprofits and local government organizations who wanted to start or strengthen a program.

Locally, the community of Faribault has five grantees:

• Faribault’s Future/Faribault Chamber of Commerce: Participants will learn the importance of pollinators and how they affect our food sources through a community pollinator garden at the Faribault Public Library. They’ll also learn how to create their own pollinator garden at home.

• Growing Up Healthy: Latino community members will participate in a cooking/wellness club that will take place at Faribault Community School. Participants will learn how to cook healthy meals while maintaining their culinary heritage, and reclaim their roots through first-hand experience in vegetable production.

• Rice County Friendship House: Adults with mental illness will participate in hands-on gardening and cooking classes. They’ll take home groceries to be able to prepare the recipes at home.

• Ruth’s House of Hope: Residents will participate in healthy cooking classes, mindfulness and meditation sessions, plus swimming and activities at River Bend Nature Center.

• Somali Community Resettlement Services: A holistic approach to wellness, addressing mind, body and spirit, will be taught to area Somali immigrants through weekly small group sessions. The sessions consist of circle time, education and learning, cooking, and goal setting.

“The organizations and groups receiving this award are all working towards a stronger, healthier and more connected community,” says Natalie Ginter-Secraw, director, Community Engagement & Development for Allina Health’s South Region. “We’re proud to be a partner in their efforts which are inclusive of Faribault’s diverse community.”

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. Follow her on Twitter @rooksuzy

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