TAP HEALTH INITIATIVE
You might be wondering, what is TAP? TAP stands for The Abandon Project, which is a nonprofit in Charlotte, NC that my husband, Josh, and I run. Our mission is to serve at risk communities that are not able to access basic needs and resources that would allow for a successful future. A few years ago Joshua and I moved into a low-income area in the East Charlotte community so we could “put our money where our mouth is”, so to speak, and show our friends that we are willing to struggle with them. We believe this grass-roots, sustainable approach helps create raw and real diversifying change.
One of the most pertinent needs we see in our community today is the necessity for knowledge about health and wellness. Over the course of my time in East Charlotte, I have experienced situations where single mothers have bought into the lie that to feed a family of five on a family-of-two budget, they can only afford frozen chicken nuggets and oodles of noodles. This form of dieting has caused children to incur type 2 diabetes, rotting teeth, and weak bones because they are not provided the proper nutrients required in a daily diet. The lack of education leads to a deficit in the knowledge of what a truly healthy lifestyle looks like. Along with this, much of the epidemic here in East Charlotte comes from a long line of generational misconceptions on dietary needs.
Though it will take a lot of persistent effort to break generations of bad habits, I am committed to providing this community with the resources they deserve. I have decided to pursue my masters in nutrition so that I can provide this community with these much-needed resources in order to ensure a beautiful future.
I created TAP Health Initiative for our community in East Charlotte about a year ago and have had weekly and sometime bi weekly meetings with elementary to high school age students, as well as with many mothers in the community. Not only do we cook, but we also participate in physical activity together. I provide health education classes for older children and their mothers. We learn how to cook healthy alternatives, and in turn cook these meals for the families in our community. At our weekly cooking class, we learn about proper nutrition, why we need it and we learn the necessary cooking skills so that we can create these meals for ourselves in our own kitchen. Not only do we learn about cooking, we also learn about mental health and physical activity. We are so humbled to say we have already seen so many success stories because of the power of this community gaining this knowledge. Mothers are now starting to come to me requesting recipes for their children and asking when we are able to come and cook and teach them again. I get text messages about these mothers increasing their water intake and pictures of healthy recipes they are now feeding their families! We have also partnered with a local meal prepping company who donates wonderful meals to these families that are fresh and locally prepared. There is so many amazing things happening at TAP Health Initiative, but so much more help is needed to give these communities the resources they deserve.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
TAP Health Initiative was birthed out of time spent with our community and neighbors through the non-profit Jenny and her husband, Josh, run in Charlotte, NC. To learn more about The Abandon Project and ways you can get involved, click the link below.