The Yuma County Public Health District is looking to help "stamp out" hunger in Yuma County with a "Feed the Need Food Drive."
Yuma County employees are collecting nonperishable food items for the Yuma Community Food Bank until Oct. 11.
“We’re encouraging employees to contribute and take an active part in having a positive impact on the community, in giving back,” explained Annette Perez, Yuma County wellness coordinator.
County employees from the different departments will compete to see who can gather the most supplies for the food bank.
“We thought it would be fun, and we've been hearing about the huge need in the community. It’s a way to help those less fortunate,” Perez said.
Members of the community are also invited to help the county "feed the need" by dropping nonperishable food items at their local county office building or sheriff's office.
The county does not have a target number of items it would like to collect. “We hope to gather as many nonperishable foods as we can, whatever they can give out of the goodness of their hearts,” Perez said.
The food drive kicks off a new social component to a wellness program that started about a year ago. The program promotes physical fitness and addresses health education and behavioral challenges among the county’s 1,400 employees.
The program is part of the bigger Health in Arizona Policy Initiative (HAPI), a partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services to improve health outcomes for all county residents.
“We want them to eat healthier. We want to plant the seed of wellness and hopefully they will make the changes,” Perez said.
As part of sweeping wellness initiative, the county is also launching the "Passport to Wellness" campaign. In what Perez calls a “fun element,” county employees will complete several wellness events throughout the year and compete for a small prize.
As part of this initiative, the county will host runs and community service events aimed at raising different aspects of wellness: physical, mental and community.
“Each month we’ll a new run, health education session, a new social component or new challenge,” she said.
The county hopes to reduce employees’ personal stress and health issues, with the hope of also "planting those seeds of change" in the community as well.
In this campaign, employees will collect "passport stamps" to commemorate each event. After several months, each stamp will qualify and enter a participant in a raffle for a grand prize.
"The collected passport stamps for each activity they participate in will help them arrive to their destination," Perez said.
For more information about the food drive or the wellness campaign, call Perez at (928) 317-4580.