BCLFit Wellness Centers
Broward County Library, Fla.
BCLFit Wellness Center pilot program targets 200 families living in the areas surrounding two Broward County Libraries located in food deserts. Its goal is to provide access to a more active lifestyle. BCLFit provides nutrition/fitness counseling and free workout equipment/classes for all ages designed to improve health and wellness.
BCLFit Wellness Centers were launched to combat cultural, physical and economic barriers that prevent families' access to healthy, nutritional choices and active lifestyles. It was geared to assist families living in “food deserts,” which are defined by the USDA as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods, usually in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets and healthy food providers.
BCLFit Wellness Centers is a free, grant-funded program taking place in two libraries. Launched in August 2017, it ran through February 2018 and was open to families and all ages. The program include free appointments with fitness instructor and trainer and a nutritionist. Benchmarks were noted and progress plans developed. The libraries hosted free workout classes and had free workout equipment such as pedometers, fitness trackers, jump ropes and Frisbees that participants could check out.
BCLFit hosted 66 nutrition counseling sessions; 66 fitness counseling sessions; 94 fitness instruction sessions; and three youth-only educational programs. 89 adults and 108 children participated. Individual outcomes included Demetra Smith, a 48-year-old female who participated in five fitness classes and lost 10 lbs. as a result, and 71-year-old Edna Ordonez, who suffered from a number of health issues and was able to lose weight and exceed weekly activity goals set by BCLFit experts.