Helping through health

Published 11:16 am Friday, December 22, 2017

Heroes come in many different forms; they aren’t limited to the cape wearing crime-fighters shown in the movies. One of Bell County’s own heroes was recently awarded for the outstanding work she has done for nearly 100 families in the area.

Christy Blevins, Bell County’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Assistant, was recognized at the Nutrition Education Program Training in Lexington for the impressive dedication she has for her work, and helping families and individuals throughout the county.

“It came as a huge surprise to me, because I wasn’t even aware that I was being recognized until the awards were being given and my name was called,” said Blevins. “I was honored that the University of Kentucky SNAP-Ed Program recognized the hard work I’ve done here in the county.”

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Blevins says it has always been a passion of hers to help others and give back in any way she can, and her position has allows her to do exactly that. Her role is to provide citizens with limited resources the proper knowledge required to improve their life skills and change the behavior necessary to achieve optimal health and well being.

So far, she has graduated a staggering 98 families, all showing a positive change in at least one of the program’s behavior checklist items, including: eating more fruits and vegetables, making better beverage choices and food safety practices.

“It brings joy to my heart knowing that I have touched the lives of these people, even in the smallest of ways. This job has given me the opportunity to reach out to more people and work with families and children who I would never have come in contact with working anywhere else,” said Blevins.

Besides the knowledge and resources, her position also requires both an open mind and an ear for listening to those in need, both of which Blevins has proven to have quite the talent for, making her the perfect candidate for such a vital role among the community.

With the new year approaching, Blevins has set a personal resolution to find new ways to reach even more families within the county. To do that, she has started working on a new project scheduled to initiate on January 9th: New Year, New You. Blevins, along with anyone wishing to become a part of this journey, will meet once a month to learn about healthy choices and the benefits they have for one’s life, as well as prepare the monthly recipe from the new 2018 NEP calendar.

Along with this, she also plans to begin hosting more evening programs, providing working families with a better opportunity to attend.

The SNAP program was created to reach out to low income families and individuals, teaching them the importance of a healthy lifestyle and providing them both the information and the means to live a nutritious life on a low budget. Although the program is focused primarily on those with less opportunities to learn this elsewhere, no one is ever turned away during these free meetings, and everyone is welcome to attend.