HICKORY — The Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry Board of Directors and staff announced that in its 54th year of service to the community the ministry is set to move from a food pantry to a center for healthy food options.
GHCCM is focusing on meeting the changing needs of its neighbors (clients), reduce the duplication of services within the community, and increase opportunities for “wholistic” or whole person transformation out of poverty. As stated by Lily Moody, executive director of GHCCM, “While we may look slightly different in the coming months, our commitment remains the same to both our Christian values and to our mission.”
The first step in the initiative is that GHCCM’s Nutrition Center is moving from a traditional food pantry into offering healthy food choices and nutrition education for those GHCCM Medical Clinic patients who are facing chronic diseases. As of Nov. 28, food through the Nutrition Center will no longer be available to the public. As GHCCM implements the Healthy Food Option Center, the food inventory is being distributed to neighbors.
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Molly Sain, GHCCM director of the medical clinic adds, “Healthy food options and nutrition education, in combination with regular medical care, have been proven as powerful tools to increase healthy outcomes in diseases that many of our neighbors’ face, like diabetes and hypertension. Our new center will provide our medical center patients access to these tools in line with the nationwide ‘Food Is Medicine’ movement. The research is clear that successful disease management equals increased healthy outcomes equals decreased health care costs that not only benefit our neighbors but the community as a whole.”
During this transition, GHCCM is assisting neighbors in locating existing food programs and identifying other food resources within the community.
GHCCM is dependent on grants and financial contributions to continue offering the wide range of support to the community. It is the goal of GHCCM to work together to offer stability to those in crisis and a pathway out of the poverty cycle. For hours of operation, ministry offerings, or to donate, visit GHCCM’s website at www.ccmhickory.org. For additional information email [email protected]. To volunteer, send your request to [email protected].