“We’re going at it in two ways: To try to affect them in terms of their pocketbook and encourage them to eat better,” he said.
The cost of a healthier lifestyle is another hurdle the committee is looking to overcome.
Jeffersonville Human Resource Director Kim Calabro, who serves on the committee, said a Community Healthy Living Index assessment is being completed and factors are being identified, like how available healthy food is for individuals.
She said for some residences within the community, specifically with low-income residents, there’s not a grocery store within two to three miles where they can shop to get healthy food.
Along with Calabro, Committee Member Bobby Campbell said he will push to ensure access is available to the healthy-living initiatives being discussed.
“What I wanted to make sure of that we didn’t do is that we weren’t elitist,” he said. “We can build all of the trails in the world ... but if people don’t walk on them it doesn’t make sense. If it only goes to the people who live near it or the people that can drive to it, then it makes no sense. It doesn’t change Indiana’s obesity rate. It doesn’t change the people who really are affected by diabetes.”
Beyond immediate access, Campbell said the biggest thing people need is education and the tools to succeed.
“People just need the tools, they need the resources, they need the education of what they can and cannot do,” he said. “I do believe if we give people the tools and the education to do it, they’ll do it themselves.”
Through the process of education, Calabro said the committee hopes to identify people who will emerge as community leaders for health initiatives.