NEWTON GROVE — Under the direction of Russ Gill, Lethia Lee was interrupted on several occasions as a camera followed her around Cedar Point Disciples Church.
As Lee, a nutrition educator, spoke about the importance of eating healthy and exercising, Gill worked to get perfect angles.
“There’s going to be a little stopping and starting, but that’s the way video works,” said Gill of Professional Communications.
During a recent class for Faithful Families, a health and religious-based program, participants tuned in as Lee continued to get her point across about — a message that will be delivered across the state. The North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH) in cooperation with N.C. Cooperative Extension filmed a promotional video for Faithful Families, which will be shown throughout the state. A portion of the video will feature Lee and the Sampson County attendees. The purpose is spread awareness about the program.
“We’re so excited because Faithful Families is such a great program,” said Jen Sohl-Marion, DPH nutrition and communications coordinator. “This is video is going to help promote it so even more faithful communities can know what a great program it is and pick it up.”
With the assistance of Professional Communications, the state is also filming in other state locations for the video which is about less than 4 minutes. During the year, Lee also works with Sampson County Cooperative Extension as a Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Assistant.
“I think it was a good opportunity for Sampson County to be involved,” Lee said.
Lee added that it will be used as a training video for Faithful Families. Sampson County was selected to participate in Faithful Families. Lee reached out to Cedar Point Disciples Church to participate in the pilot program. If successful, Faithful Families will be extended to other churches.
“We do it as a pilot to see if people are interested and to see if it’s something that will work in Sampson County,” Lee said.
Travis Greer, regional worksite/faith coordinator for the Robeson County Health Department, was one of several officials participating in the video.
“It’s really getting some eyewitness accounts and how the program works in faith settings,” Greer said about sharing the successes and joys of the program.
As the regional coordinator for the ODHDSP (Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention) grant, Greer works with several counties in the effort. In 2014, DPH received funding for the implementation of a program to help reduce health disparities among adults. Faithful Families is one of the strategies being used by ODHDSP.
“It’s a wonderful program for churches looking to start a health ministry or exemplify what ministry to have as far as tying health and faith component to their church and ministry,” Greer said.
Greer said plenty of resources are available online, but the program gives people the opportunity to have hands-on experience and tools to apply the knowledge.
“I think what’s get them over the hump to make the right choice is that faith component,” Greer said.
He referred to Psalm 34:8 in the Bible: “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
“This program really gets people tasting and seeing that healthy eating is good and that Faithful Families is a good program,” Greer said. “You can taste food through taste testing and see a leader in the cooperative extension cooking a recipe right in front of them.”
Lee has the same feelings as well when it comes to churches and organizations taking steps to help its members have a better lifestyle.
“If we can get people of faith to buy into healthy living, it will be easy for them to convince other people that by your faith, you can eat right and you can get healthy,” Lee said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.