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Partners in Health and Wholeness

The NC Council of Churches is supporting places of worship in changing policies, practices and environments that make healthy eating and physical activity the easy choice. In the spring of 2009, the NC Council of Churches developed Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW), a faith-based health initiative, funded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. The mission of PHW is to promote health as a practice of faith and to improve the health of clergy and congregants through increased physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco use prevention and cessation. PHW has established a certification process for places of worship that make these changes. Congregations have the opportunity to achieve three different tiers of health certification: bronze, silver and gold. Upon completion, they also become eligible to receive a mini-grant to expand their health-related efforts, as long as funds last.

Since January 2010, more than 160 congregations across 40 different counties, representing more than 56,000 people of faith, have become Partners in Health and Wholeness-certified. As a result of Partners in Health and Wholeness, congregations are:

  • serving healthier church meals
  • maintaining tobacco-free buildings
  • planting community gardens
  • hosting youth events that encourage healthy lifestyles
  • providing healthy snacks and beverages to children and youth
  • adopting formal policies related to healthy eating and physical activity
  • addressing health as a faith issue from the pulpit

“As we learn better, we must do better...we can’t do ministry work while we are sick...we are committed to making our people healthier.”

– Pastor Anthony Farrar of Faith Missionary Baptist Church, working with Wake County Human Services on nutrition and healthy cooking To learn more about Partners in Health and Wholeness, visit

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Eat Smart, Move More NC exists through the work of its many partner organizations.
Please address all inquiries to the Eat Smart, Move More NC Webmaster.