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Co-op promotes healthy community


Roger Gomez (L), a physician assistant with Renaissance Family Medicine (Cone Health Medical Group), checks the blood pressure of Leo Steward (R), a Greensboro resident and proud Co-op member. Photo by Yasmine Regester/Carolina Peacemaker
Greensboro residents were invited to attend a health fair at the Renaissance Shoppes on Phillips Ave., Saturday, February 24.

Participants were able to taste free samples of smoothies and fruits, observe fitness demonstrations, receive flu shots and health screenings, and a enjoy free spaghetti dinner.

UNC Greensboro’s Recipe For Success, a program with the university’s Department of Anthropology, promotes nutritious and healthy food choices. volunteers with the program were on hand to distribute nutrition information and recipes to health fair participants.

“We’re trying to equip the community with strategies to make food and nutrition easier,” said Sage Mohan, a senior UNCG anthropology student volunteering with Recipe For Success.

The co-op grocery store also set up a Black History Book Corner & Exhibit, open every Saturday from February 17 to March 17.

Nicole Gentles, organizer of the Marketing and Community Partnerships Association with the Renaissance Community Co-op (RCC) said the purpose of the health fair was to promote the benefits of holistic healthy living.

“We wanted to do this because it is heart health month. Cone Health just opened its clinic and we wanted to address all aspects of health. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is important, but also getting information people need to lead a healthier lifestyle all around is critical,” said Gentles.

She noted that the grocery store encourages customers to talk to employees about to make sure the grocery shelves are stocked with nutritious foods customers want and need.

“We want to survive and stay here,” said Gentles.

Local community member Josh Garrett will be opening JMG Elite Fitness in the plaza, joining the Renaissance Family Medicine Center, Renaissance Community Co-op grocery store, Greensboro Municipal Credit Union and Family Dollar. The McGirt-Horton Public Library is also located adjacent to the plaza.

JMG Elite Fitness will offer fitness classes, personal training and meal planning.

“I grew up in Claremont. This neighborhood is an area I want to impact in a positive way. It helped raise me. This shopping center promotes all around health — physical, social and financial.

It’s important for our community to take care of ourselves and that’s part of my responsibility now. I’m going to make it happen,” said Garrett.

Co-op member Leo B. Steward attended the health fair and noted how the community worked together to get the plaza up and running again.

“Everyone has to eat,” said Steward. “But if you want something, you have to get in there and do it.”