Garden-to-Kitchen Community Health Expo

The Lions Center in George Town, Grand Cayman, was abuzz with activity on Monday, May 06, 2024, as the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Health and Community Services Departments hosted a Health and Community Expo. Under the theme “Reset Your Body from the Garden to the Kitchen,” the event showcased the power of natural foods and community wellness.

The expo featured a diverse lineup of exhibitors, including Seventh-day Adventist churches, health and wellness practitioners, and local businesses and organizations such as New Growth Naturals, Health for Today, and Cayman Heart Foundation. Attendees were treated to an array of food items and original dishes crafted from locally sourced produce. The expo displayed diverse flavours and nutritional benefits of traditional Caymanian ingredients. The foods displayed were Corn, Beans, Pumpkin, Papaya, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Burro “Bottler”, Mango, Apple, Strawberry and Banana, Plantain, Cassava and Coconut.

More than 160 enthusiastic participants registered for the event, each receiving an “event passport” guiding them through the booths, each highlighting a main food assigned to it.

Angela Hall, Community Services Director of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, shared her vision for the expo, emphasizing simple, local ingredients to create delicious, budget-friendly dishes, many of which are readily available in our backyards or from local farmers.

In addition to culinary delights, the expo featured informative presentations, including workshops on starting home gardens, the benefits of massages, understanding the natural laws of health, and hair care. These sessions provided insights into holistic wellness practices, giving attendees information to make informed lifestyle choices.

Attendees shared their delight and newfound appreciation for natural foods and wellness practices:

“I’m impressed and happy! There are things here that you would be surprised to know you can make a meal from.” – Cherine Beckett

“The Cassava punch was my favorite; it was really rich and filling, something new to me.” – Shelly-anne Cupid

“It’s been amazing to see how many recipes and meals you can prepare with a single ingredient. It’s amazing to see how blessed we are from the Lord with the gift of nature.” – Osmin Bello

“I sampled everything, and it was good. I will definitely grab the recipes to make some of these dishes at home.” – Anneli Campbell

The sentiments echoed by one attendee emphasized the importance of taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle, emphasizing the abundance of natural blessings provided by nature.

The highlight of the expo was the announcement of special prizes, recognizing outstanding contributions from exhibitors:

Outstanding Food Displays:

  • First Place: Newlands Adventist Church – Carrots
  • Second Place: Kings Adventist Church – Pumpkins
  • Third Place: Savannah Adventist Church – Coconuts

Best Decorated Booth:

  • First Place: Savannah Adventist Church
  • Second Place: Newlands Adventist Church
  • Third Place: Kings Adventist Church

Most Original Recipes: West Bay Adventist Church

Most Hygienic Booth: George Town Adventist Church

Best Use of Traditional Cayman Local Food: East End Adventist Church

Raquel Brito, an exhibitor, expressed her passion for promoting healthy living: “Beans are good for your health; it’s high in iron and fiber. I encourage everyone to come next year; it’s a benefit for everyone and so much fun to be here.”

Special recognition is extended to contributors who generously supported the expo. These include Ministry of Agriculture, Vigorous Nursery, Bro. and Sis. Hodgson and Health City Cayman Islands.

Special thanks to:

  • Samantha Mitchell’s – New Growth Naturals
  • Darrell Dacres – Health for Today
  • Cayman Heart Foundation
  • ⁠Health Services Authority (HSA
  • ⁠Dr. Glaister Bell – HSA
  • ⁠Rehoboth Physio and Pain Care – Offering Massages
  • ⁠Angela’s Healthcare – Offering health checkups
  • ⁠Mr. Crawford ‘s Farm
  • ⁠Cayman Islands Cancer Society
  • ⁠Adventist Book and Nutrition Centre
  • ⁠Dr. Andrew Robinson – Doctors Hospital

As this year’s Health and Community Expo concludes, the anticipation for its next iteration grows, promising another enriching chapter in the pursuit of comprehensive wellness.

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