East Palo Alto Church Leaders Plant Health in Community

The Macklins receive a heroes for health award from the CountyEast Palo Alto minister Reverend Albert Macklin and his wife Madelyn have taken the lead to help improve the health of their congregation.

Because the rates of obesity and other chronic diseases are higher in East Palo Alto than many other communities in the county, the Macklins are committed to encouraging their church community to make healthier choices.

The New Sweet Home Church of God in Christ congregants planted a garden at their church to bring the importance of healthy eating to life. The garden helps the children and adults experience the process of growing food and encourages church members to take ownership of the garden. The Macklins hope to see their church community take these lessons home to plant their own gardens as one more way to make healthy choices for their families.

Also, each month, the church brings in different people to speak about health during their Sunday service, and in the summer the Vacation Bible School offers outdoor fitness classes and activities.

“The Macklins are incredible role models for their work to bring about health equity in East Palo Alto through their work to build health in their own community,” said Gloria Brown, who has worked closely with the Macklins through the African American Community Health Advisory Committee (AACHAC), a group committed to eliminating health disparities in San Mateo County communities.

The Macklins have made a personal investment in encouraging their church community to make healthier choices. The garden at New Sweet Home encourages healthy and affordable eating, and the church’s health initiative encourages the New Sweet Home congregation to pay more attention to their own health and care for the health of their families and church community. The Macklins are truly San Mateo County Health Heroes.