Lee County Promotes Heart Month With Red Tablecloth Initiative

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In North Carolina, one person is hospitalized for heart disease every five minutes. Every hour, there are two deaths related to heart disease, making it the second leading cause of death in our state. February is American heart month, a time of year to bring awareness to heart disease and remind us to take care of our heart. The good news is that adopting a healthy lifestyle and managing risk factors can reduce a person’s chance of developing heart disease. One of the easiest ways to lower your risk for heart disease is to choose healthy meal options.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center, along with LEEding Toward Wellness is promoting heart health by implementing the red tablecloth initiative throughout our community. Anywhere you see a red tablecloth, it symbolizes that foods on this table promote heart health. Heart-healthy foods include options such as fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meats (chicken or turkey), and roasted or steamed vegetables. It also includes snacks like nuts, hummus, and whole-grain crackers. The red tablecloth can be displayed at any cafeteria, restaurant, or event making it a simple and quick way to encourage heart-healthy dining options. Community groups such as clubs, civic groups, or church groups can also participate! By endorsing the red tablecloth at your establishment or event you are bringing awareness to the prevention of heart disease

Image of food on a table.

To celebrate heart month and kick off the Red Tablecloth initiative LEEding Toward Wellness will host both a social media and event contest throughout the month of February:

  • Social Media Contest: By simply sharing or commenting on each week’s post you will be entered to win a 1-hour massage through FirstHealth Fitness Sanford. Visit the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Lee County’s Facebook page to enter and for more information.
  • Event Contest: If you are interested in hosting a Red Tablecloth Event, N.C. Cooperative Extension in Lee County is lending out toolkits. These toolkits include a red tablecloth, signage, handouts, a script to read at the beginning of the event, and a quick survey for those attending. Those that complete a survey at the event will be entered to win an educational extender bundle to help them on their heart health journey. Bundle one is: a 1-month family YMCA membership (2 adults and dependents), yoga mat, and water bottle. Bundle two is : a stackable lunch box, 8-in-1 spiralizer, grater, juicer, and $15 Food Lion gift card.

If you are interested in having a red tablecloth at your event contact Alyssa Anderson, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center, alyssa_anderson@ncsu.edu.

The LEEding Toward Wellness task force started in August 2017. The group is comprised of multiple community partners who share the mission of educating, empowering and connecting all Lee County residents to opportunities that provide them with healthy resources.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center’s goal is to provide the residents of the community with research-based knowledge. For more information on food safety, wellness, and nutrition please contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Alyssa Anderson, MS, RDN, LDN at 919-775-5624.