Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities, a partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, increases the library’s capacity to offer free, accessible cooking, physical activity, gardening and mindfulness programming at neighborhood libraries throughout Philadelphia. Program offerings range from African-diaspora inspired cooking classes to senior fitness classes to gardening workshops about native plants. Programs priorities are based on feedback from community members.

In October 2018, Community Chef Training was offered at Lillian Marrero Library in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia. This free, four-day workshop equipped a cohort of community members with the skills and certifications to lead low-cost, culturally-appropriate culinary demos. The Community Chefs continue to lead cooking demonstrations at neighborhood libraries.

Home Gym Kits will be available for lending at six neighborhood libraries! Joseph E. Coleman Northwest Regional Library, Lillian Marrero Library, Overbrook Park Library, Richmond Library, South Philadelphia Library, and Tacony Library will host strength training workshops to complement their Home Gym Kit materials. The kit will give community members access to a yoga mat, resistance band, and jump rope for two weeks. Look for the workout log to help track fitness goals and successes!

Read more about the Home Gym Kit and find details about everything Healthy Communities offers here. For free cooking, gardening, and fitness join the Free Library wellness community!

Healthy Communities

Links

  • 2-1-1 SEPA

    Call 2-1-1 to get connected to important health and human services. You can also use their website to search.
  • CDC on Health Literacy

    Information and tools to improve health literacy and public health. Find health literacy activities by state, develop materials, learn about health literacy.
  • Choose My Plate

    Helps you make healthful choices for meals and snacks. Tips, recipes, and more!
  • Coalition Against Hunger

    The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger strives to build a community where all people have the food they need to lead healthy lives. The Coalition connects people with food assistance programs and nutrition education; provides resources to a network of food pantries; and educates the public and policymakers about responsible solutions that prevent people from going hungry.
  • Coalition Against Hunger

    The Coalition Against Hunger helps people connect to food pantries and soup kitchens in their neighborhood, including options for finding food that very day. They also help people to apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Households can apply for SNAP benefits by calling their hotline at 215-430-0556.
  • Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities

    This list of resources from the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities includes help for alcohol, drugs, gambling, homeless supports, domestic violence, intellectual disAbility supports, crisis centers, and 24/7 hotlines.
  • Fact Sheet: Health Literacy and Health Outcomes

    This fact sheet summarizes key research findings on the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes.
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers

    Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are local, non-profit or city-run primary care providers serving low-income families. Find one using this search tool.
  • Food Fit Philly

    Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Our work at Get Healthy Philly is founded in the belief that every human being matters, and that we must work to change systems and structures in our city and in our society that result in disparities in health and opportunity.
  • Free Health Screenings

    The Philadelphia Department of Public Health maintains a monthly list of free health screenings across the city. Scroll down to the “Free Health Screenings in Philadelphia” section for the link to this month’s list.
  • Health and Wellness Resource Center

    The Free Library's database where you can explore different health topics
  • Health Finder

    Use this federally sponsored website tool to learn what you or a loved one can do to stay healthy.
  • Health Literacy Basics

    Definitions and answers to basic questions about health literacy provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Health Literacy Month's Website

    This website will provide more information on how you can help support Health Literacy Month's efforts
  • HealthCare.gov

    Official guide to the health care, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act
  • Local Health Literacy Events

    A list of local health literacy events across Pennsylvania that you can attend
  • Medline Plus

    A web resource that contains reliable health information from the National Library of Medicine to help answer health questions
  • NaturePHL

    NaturePHL is a cross-sector program helping Philadelphia children and families achieve better health through activity in local parks, trails, and green spaces.
  • PA Forward: Healthy Literacy

    See what efforts the Pennsylvania Library Association is putting forth to promote health literacy.
  • Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council

    The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council connects Philadelphians and their local government to create a more just food system. They envision that all Philadelphians can access and afford healthy, sustainable, culturally appropriate, local, and fair food.
  • Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Finder

    Search for healthy and fun activities at Parks and Recreation Centers near you!
  • Philly Food Finder

    Use this tool to find food pantries, meals for seniors, soup kitchens, SHARE host sites, and farmer’s markets by typing in your address or zip code.
  • Philly Powered

    Philly Powered is a part of Get Healthy Philly, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and is designed to promote everyday physical activity particularly among adult men and women who are seeking to live healthier lives.
  • PubMed Health

    A service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) that provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions
  • Regional Health Literacy Coalition

    A website created by Pennsylvania's Health Literacy Coalition to improve understanding between providers and consumers of health care
  • SEPA-READS

    An initiative by the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals (TJUH) to address health literacy in Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Smoke Free Philly

    Smokefree Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, the Chronic Disease Division of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The goals of SmokeFree Philly are to help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting using tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.

Electronic Health Literacy Resources by Health

Check out these electronic sources to learn more about health literacy and how it can affect you!

View the full list

Health Literacy 2016 by Health

Check out these resources to learn more about health literacy and how to best communicate health information!

View the full list

Electronic Resources

Upcoming Events


Blog Posts

Squash Across Tables

Thank you to Nourishing Literacy (NL) team member Carolyn for writing this blog post! In addition to sharing her experience and findings, Carolyn has included some of the activities and approaches that we use in NL. The Nourishing…

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Celebrate the South Indian Holiday of Pongal!

The South Indian holiday of Pongal is a multi-day harvest festival full of music and food observed by the Tamil and Telugu community, celebrated this year per the Hindu religious calendar, starting on Thursday, January 14 and ending on…

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Let Culinary Explorations of Literature Nourish You with Book Feast!

Have you ever thought about why we use the same vocabulary to describe consuming food and consuming knowledge? How we’re hungry for the truth, devour a good book, and digest information?  Intellectual nourishment has been so…

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Stocking Up Food for the Winter

Written by Alex Evenson, Philabundance Nutrition Educator, with additions from Caity Rietzen, Culinary Literacy Center Supervisor Frozen peas, canned beans, and potato chips. What do these three food items have in common? Since the…

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Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread

One of my favorite treats for the holidays is making gingerbread! Did you know that gingerbread was derived from Greece in 2400 b.c and was originally meant to preserve ginger? Gingerbread was a term used for any recipe that combined…

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A Taste of African Heritage for Kwanzaa

Healthy Communities just wrapped a fall series of A Taste of African Heritage with instructor Paul O. Mims, who recently spoke with Oldways about Cooking, Culture, and Community During Covid .  A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH)…

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Cooking with Pomegranates: Seeds the Day!

Pomegranates! They are unique red fruits filled with many juicy seeds, with a sweet and tart taste. While these fruits grow in warmer climates, they can be available in some local Philly stores in the fall and early winter months. …

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¿Aprendiendo Español? Check Out These Resources!

Nowadays, mastering a new language is so much fun—there are so many resources available! Depending on your learning style, you can design a work plan that fits your needs and time. With only five minutes a day, you can build a…

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Brighten Up Your Thanksgiving Table

Written by Alex Evenson, Philabundance Nutrition Educator, with additions from Caity Rietzen, Culinary Literacy Center Supervisor   Cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, and while this year's holiday will be…

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Using the City's Online Maps to Find Free Food Distribution and COVID-19 Testing Sites

As COVID-19 cases surge in our city, Philadelphia health officials have announced a new Safer at Home plan, which aims to limit the spread of this virus through this difficult period. Vaccines for COVID-19 are currently under…

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Trail Mix and Hiking Trails Can Cure the Blues

Are you looking for a healthy snack and way to fuel your body as the fall and winter days get shorter? Try some trail mix! Trail mix can be packed with nutrients that fuel the body longer, and depending on the ingredients, it can also…

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Noodles Across Tables

Thank you to Nourishing Literacy (NL) team member Carolyn for writing this blog post! In addition to sharing her experience and findings, Carolyn has included some of the activities and approaches that we use in NL. The…

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Health Literacy Month

October is Health Literacy Month and certainly in October 2020—health is on everyone’s mind. At the Free Library, "literacy" is one of our favorite words, as it means "being able to understand." …

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Celebrate National Dessert Day in Philadelphia!

Need an excuse to satisfy your sweet tooth? We are here to help! Today, October 14, is National Dessert Day , and a great opportunity to break out your favorite dessert of choice. While I truly believe that this year deserves multiple…

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Language Through My Kitchen: Latin Cuisine

The Latin American Book Fair , in partnership with the Culinary Literacy Center , will be presenting Language Through My Kitchen: Latin Cuisine , during a virtual event broadcast on Facebook on Friday, October 16, 10:00 a.m. to…

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Whipping Up a Dream Pie

As a child, I loved eating, tasting, and experimenting with different ingredients. On Saturdays, I would spend my day watching cooking shows before the Food Network became a thing. It was my dream to become a chef and I practiced what…

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Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Veggie Mac and Cheese

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center . The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time…

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Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Vegetarian Jambalaya

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center . The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time…

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Call for Artwork: Nourishing Literacy Series of Printed Learning Materials

Hello to our friends of all ages! The Nourishing Literacy team is in the process of creating a series of printed learning materials and we would be thrilled to include your artwork! Call for Artwork Community Coloring Books and Activity…

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Podcasts