(Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health for the Year 2010) In 2000, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a grant to the Genesee County Health Department and several partners to help address racial and ethnic disparities in health in the United States. The Genesee County collaborative began a four-year implementation of a Community Action Plan (CAP) to reduce infant mortality. Genesee County has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Michigan, and African American babies die at more than twice the rate of European American babies.
Through the REACH 2010 Department, GCCARD is implementing the Healthy Eating: Nutrition Education intervention of the CAP. Discussion groups are held with members of the GCCARD Area Action Councils grandparents and WIC participants, in order to discuss what course of action is required in order to gather the information needed which will assist in the development of the Healthy Eating curriculum.
Another strategy that was implemented was the planting of twelve “raised bed” gardens in the yards of WIC families. The families were given information about the Flint Urban Garden Expo, and information about participating in other REACH activities. The participants were encouraged to attend Project FRESH classes at the local MSU Extension and were requested to participate in Harambee Dinners.
A Harambee Dinner was held at the Sylvester Broome Center, and was attended by over 200 people. At the dinner there were garden reports, a Black Unity & Spiritual Togetherness (B.U.S.T.) activity, and an African drum and dance troupe entertained.