“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Between 2000 and 2013, Columbus suburbs have experienced both the fastest population growth, up 22.8%, and the fastest growth in suburban poverty, up 113.6%. Furthermore, Ohio’s poor are more likely to live in the suburbs than the urban neighborhoods more commonly associated with poverty.
What does this mean for a seemingly affluent suburb like Worthington, OH?
Nearly 1 in 5 Franklin County Residents experience food insecurity.
In Worthington City Schools, 30% of students are on free or reduced lunch.
Health is an all-encompassing state that we should think of as the intersection of wellness, balance, and access.
Although the neighbors living in Worthington share general location, they all differ in health status due to some unique combination of these three entities.
Working as a summer fellow with The Columbus Foundation this summer, I will be working at the Worthington Resource Pantry to contribute to promoting the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual health and well-being of the community.Most of my work this summer will be aimed towards the planning of our Feed-A-Family Block Party in September, which is a fundraising event meant to raise awareness about hunger and need in our community. I am so excited to use my Public Health background and my event planning and fundraising experience to contribute to this amazing organization!
At the Worthington Resource Center we serve the six zip codes of the Worthington School District, which include an international community. The top 10 countries of origin include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Iraq, Cameroon, China, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Egypt, and Nigeria.
In 2016, the Worthington Resource Center:
Provided 226,000 meals
Served 1,500 households
Aided 5,000 people
Served 10,000 meals to children through the Summer Meal Program
The work happening at the Worthington Resource Center is work that everyone should believe in because it does more than provide healthy food to people. From the ground up, this organization empowers community members to take charge of their health, their futures, and their lives. Our neighbors that get help with access to healthcare, housing, employment, and more, are gaining skills to carry them into a better and more substantial future.
Health is so much more than the absence of illness; to achieve health equity we must level the playing field of access to resources that encourage healthy lifestyles.
The Worthington Resource Pantry works to involve all members of its community to contribute to healthier lives for everyone, and that’s why I want to be here. In order for us to be wealthier as a whole, we need to be healthier as a whole.
Until next week,