Working with Communities to Impact Health

Working with Communities to Impact Health

May 09, 2024 Written by Gina Crist, Community Health Specialist - Health & Well-being Program Leader

An individual’s health is a combination of clinical, environmental and societal factors. In fact, the majority of an individual’s health is impacted by things outside of the doctor’s office. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension works across the state with partners to address some of the things in our communities that may enhance health.


An image of Sarah Goldring explaining the intensity chart at a local Walk and Roll


Delawareans Improving Health


UD Cooperative Extension also builds the knowledge of Delawareans on how they may be able to make choices that will improve short and long-term health. Some examples of ways in which we do this include:

  • Assisting community locations (some which serve adults and others children, like schools) in developing community gardens that provide fruits and vegetables to residents. 

  • Working with the Farm and Food Policy Council to support farm-to-table initiatives, bringing local produce to community centers, pantries and retail sites for purchase

  • Increasing the knowledge of how to use local, fresh produce and items received through food pantries to achieve a healthy diet

  • Increasing skills in meal planning and budget management

  • Improving the knowledge of the mind and body connection through stress management and nutrition

  • Providing physical activity and social support opportunities through walking programs

  • Increasing the knowledge of individuals and support systems on how to manage diabetes and heart health 

  • Increasing skills in managing mental well-being 

  • Increasing skills in money management and wealth building 

  • Increasing knowledge of adult vaccinations 

  • Working with partners to deliver ServSafe certification to ensure industry workers have the knowledge and skills needed to serve safe food

An image of a folder opened with materials handed out from Dining with Diabetes


Individuals in programming have shared some of the following successes:


  • Trying a food item for the first time

  • Decreasing the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed

  • Loving having social support and a dedicated time for physical activity, feeling better overall

  • Applying for scholarships that they were not aware of previously

  • Passing the ServSafe exam

  • Having tools in their toolbox to manage stress

A collection of healthy dishes spread on a table

We work to address health in a holistic way, aiming to meet people where they are and assist them in whatever dimension of health that they feel they need to enhance. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, please visit our website:

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