|Sample Policies and Guidelines|
Use the following sample policies and guidelines to help you put your congregation's own wellness commitments into writing to make sure your efforts to create a healthy environment will continue into the future. A policy gives your intentions "more teeth." In other words, people will take your faith community's wellness goals more seriously, and be more likely to act on them, if you take the time to make them official. Change any language that doesn't seem relevant to you and make your policies more meaningful by including words about how you see wellness as a spiritual practice or obligation.
Policies to Support a Healthy Food Environment
Check out our Sample Policies and Guidelines and use it as a template for your Congregation!
Sample Beverage Policy (Multnomah County specific)
Sample Beverage Guidelines (Multnomah County specific)
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon's (EMO) Worksite Wellness Policy
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon's management team has approved its Worksite Wellness Policy! In coordination with the various worksites of EMO,we have outline the Healthy Food and Beverage, Physical Activity, and Breastfeeding Guidelines that we live out at EMO. This implementation of a Worksite Wellness Policy is quite an exciting accomplishment for our organization as this is a testament of our commitment to the pursuit for a healthy way of life for ourselves and the community we serve.
Wellness Policy Draft for Congregations
To help your Congregation create its own Wellness Policy, we've drafted a Wellness Policy for you to use as a template. You can cater this to fit your own Congregation and/or use it as a way to get the conversation started. Creating a policy ensures your Congregation's commitment to wellness!
Guidelines for Fellowship Food and for Potluck or Community Meals
The Ainsworth United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon, developed fellowship/coffee hour guidelines as a step towards educating the congregation about healthier alternatives, and influencing, in a small way, the types of foods and beverages that are offered. They developed similar guidelines for full meals, which could apply whether meals are cooked in a faith-based kitchen or at home and brought to a potluck. The Holy Redeemer Catholic Church of Portland has also developed their own Healthy Fellowship Food Guidelines for their parish.
Highland Christian Center/UCC and partners
Highland Christian Center, located in Portland, Oregon, has been leading the way towards Wellness in their Congregation. Highland -- along with partner churches Emmanuel Church, Life Change Christian Center, The International Fellowship Family, North East Community Fellowship Church, Emmanuel COGIC United -- has implemented a Food and Beverage Policy that has led to Highland has also put together a Breastfeeding Friendly Guidelines.
Body and Soul, a wellness program developed for African American churches, offers a sample healthy eating policy for congregations on page 10 of their manual.
Kaiser Permanente Northwest's Public School Wellness Policy Toolkit offers ideas for implementing wellness policies and engaging parents and community members in health-promoting efforts. These ideas would work well at faith communities too.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services offers a comprehensive resource on creating breastfeeding-friendly communities and policies, and includes a simple guide for places of worship to support breastfeeding mothers.
Child Care Nutrition Guidelines
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created a new regulation setting nutrition standards for group child care services. They also provide tips for child care professionals to incorporate healthy foods and practices.
Vending Machine Policies
Fit City/Fit Schools in San Antonio, Texas, created guidelines for providing healthy choices in vending machines.
Religious Education Policies
When creating your congregational wellness policies, consider including a policy about incorporating health promoting topics and actions into your religious education curricula and lesson plans, theology classes, etc. Our Faith and Wellness Readings page provides some inspirational readings and scriptural passages to help you spark a discussion about the link between the body and soul.
Memo of Understanding (MoU) for Farm-to-Congregation Projects
Here is a sample Farm-to-Congregation MOU from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) to help you formalize relationships with local farmers to give them a market for their products while bringing healthy affordable food to your congregation and neighborhood. Check back soon for "MoUs" on community kitchens and community supported agriculture (CSAs). Other guidance for starting farm to congregation projects can be found in EMO's "Food Sovereignty Handook: Overhauling the Food System with Faith-Based Initiatives."
Child Care Physical Activity Guidelines - NPlan offers model physical activity standards for child care providers for infants through preschool-age children. And the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created regulations for group child care services that limit TV viewing time, require centers to provide a safe indoor area for active play during bad weather, and to make sure children have appropriate clothing to play outside.
Playtime and Playground Use - Connecticut's State Department of Education has a helpful guide that includes information on age-appropriate physical activities and policies concerning the use and supervision of playground equipment.
Religious education - Eat Smart/Move More North Carolina has a sample policy and ideas for incorporating physical activity into all religious education, for both adults and children.
Joint Use Agreements - NPlan has a list of model joint use agreements between schools and other organizations available for download, as well as other resources on liability, which can provide a starting point on developing joint use agreements at your own congregation so you can share your space with others wanting a safe, affordable place to be active.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, Indiana, has an example of a joint-use (or building rental) policy and guidelines.
Limiting Screen Time/Media Use - Kaiser Permanente provides a guide for implementing at-home policies on screen time that could serve as a model for congregations. And NPLAN's model physical activity standards also provide information on limiting screen time in a childcare setting.