FCS News – May 10, 2021

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We Want to Hear From You  – Franklin County Community Health Needs Assessment

A question mark and a person looking at a computer terminal.

To ensure that we are meeting the health needs of Franklin County, we ask that you would please take time to complete our Community Health Needs Assessment. This assessment will determine what health issues we will address over the next three years in Franklin County.

You can complete the survey until Friday, June 18 by clicking the link below:

Health ENC Survey -English >> 

Health ENC Survey-Spanish >>

*Call 919-496-2533 ext. 2386 if you would like to have a hard copy of the survey*

Thank you in advance for your input 🙂


May – Mental Health Awareness Month

You Are Not Alone; #NotAlone; nami.org/mentalhealthmonth

This past year presented so many different challenges and obstacles that tested our strength and resiliency. The global pandemic forced us to cope with situations we never even imagined, and a lot of us struggled with our mental health as a result. The good news is that there are tools and resources available that can support the well-being of individuals and communities.

Now, more than ever, we need to combat the stigma surrounding mental health concerns. That’s why this Mental Health Month N.C. Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center is highlighting #Tools2Thrive  – what individuals can do throughout their daily lives to prioritize mental health, build resiliency, and continue to cope with the obstacles of COVID-19. 

Throughout the pandemic, many people who had never experienced mental health challenges found themselves struggling for the first time. During the month of May, we are focusing on different topics that can help process the events of the past year and the feelings that surround them, while also building up skills and supports that extend beyond COVID-19. 

We know that the past year forced many to accept tough situations that they had little to no control over. If you found that it impacted your mental health, you aren’t alone. In fact, of the almost half a million individuals that took the anxiety screening at MHAscreening.org, 79% showed symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. However, there are practical tools that can help improve your mental health. We are focused on managing anger and frustration, recognizing when trauma may be affecting your mental health, challenging negative thinking patterns, and making time to take care of yourself. 

It’s important to remember that working on your mental health and finding tools that help you thrive takes time. Change won’t happen overnight. Instead, by focusing on small changes, you can move through the stressors of the past year and develop long-term strategies to support yourself on an ongoing basis. 

A great starting point for anyone who is ready to start prioritizing their mental health is to take a mental health screening at MHAscreening.org. It’s a quick, free, and confidential way for someone to assess their mental health and begin finding hope and healing. 

Ultimately, during this month of May, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center wants to remind everyone that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find a balance between life’s ups and downs and continue to cope with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. 

For more information visit website: Mental Health America: MHA .Accepting Reality Fact Sheet

Accepting Reality Fact Sheet >>


USDA to Provide Critical Nutrition Assistance to 30M+ Kids Over the Summer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a new effort funded by the American Rescue Plan to provide adequate nutrition to more than 30 million children over the summer by expanding Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. Summer months are difficult for low-income children because they lack access to school meals that fill a nutrition gap during the school year. When school is out of session, summer feeding programs—considered a lifeline for some families—reach just a small fraction, typically less than 20%, of the number served during the school year. This summer, USDA will offer P-EBT benefits to all low-income children of all ages, helping families put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The expansion of P-EBT benefits over the summer is a first-of-its-kind, game-changing intervention to reduce child hunger in the United States,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By providing low-income families with a simple benefit over the summer months, USDA is using an evidenced-based solution to drive down hunger and ensure no child has to miss a meal.” For more guidance about P-EBT: USDA website for Coronavirus P-EBT >> .

fruit basket - apples, grapes, oranges, pears and strawberries


Infant Formula: Safety Do’s and Don’ts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises parents and caregivers to not make or feed homemade infant formula to infants. Homemade infant formula recipes have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth. It is important for parents and caregivers to remember that infant formula can be the sole source of nutrition for infants and is strictly regulated by the FDA. The agency has requirements for certain nutrients in infant formulas sold in interstate commerce, and if the formula does not contain these nutrients at or above the minimum level or within its specified range, the infant formula is adulterated. The agency can take action to remove adulterated formula from the marketplace. The agency has received reports of hospitalized babies who had been fed homemade infant formula and then suffered from hypocalcemia (low calcium). Other potential problems with homemade formulas include contamination and absence of, or inadequate amounts of, critical nutrients. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website for more information.

Baby in arms drinking from a bottle


Happy International Mediterranean Diet Month

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month (aka Med Month) – a great time of year to start eating the Med Way. Learn more: Med Instead of Meds.

The Med way is simple, delicious, and satisfying. It reflects a way of eating that is traditional in the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea and includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil and limits highly processed foods and added sugar. The Mediterranean diet has been extensively studied and is associated with promoting health and decreasing the risk of many chronic diseases including some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Benefits of Med Diet >>

As such, the healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern is recommended around the world, including in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Join the Med Month celebration today by exploring the Med Tip of the Day.

May- Mediterranean Diet Month Calendar


Med Month Calendar


National Shrimp Day – May 10

plate of shrimp and pasta

Shrimp fans all across the country can come together to honor their love for the shellfish, commonly called the “fruit of the sea.” Shrimp are interesting characters, and some can even glow in the dark! Elvis Presley even once sang a song about them, crooning, “If I should live to be ninety, I will never forget the little shrimp and the song he sang as he jumped into the net.” These little guys pack a big nutritional punch. They are high in protein (and flavor!), and low in calories. Shrimp is a good source of zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. They are full of Omega-3s, fighting inflammation and improving eye health! They are even a good source of selenium, which promotes brain function and a healthy immune system! In the United States, shrimp is eaten more than any other type of seafood, so of course it deserves its own day! Grill ’em, fry ’em, or eat ’em cold. Try them on a sandwich, on a salad, or one by one in some delicious cocktail sauce. Whatever you do, take some time to celebrate! Try this recipe for Basil, Shrimp, and Tomato Pasta with Feta.

Written By

Dominque Simon, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDominque SimonArea Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences - Food- Safety, Health and Nutrition Call Dominque Email Dominque N.C. Cooperative Extension, Franklin County Center
Updated on Jun 14, 2021
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