Janneke Quick Sobeck
Director of Live Well Winona; SHIP Co-Coordinator for Winona County
When you ask Janneke Quick Sobeck, Director of Live Well Winona, what challenges she sees in Minnesota’s food system, she readily supplies two major issues. The first is the cost of healthy food at the supermarket, and how high prices often makes it difficult for people to provide nutritious meals for their families. The second is an aging farming population and not enough young people who are interested in continuing the family business.
Janneke is also concerned that obesity and nutrition related chronic conditions are becoming a national health crisis. Her goal, and the goal of Live Well Winona, is to connect people with opportunities to improve their health and well-being.
Live Well Winona is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting healthy activities and lifestyles in and around the Winona region. Its mission is to engage the community in a culture of wellness that is distinctively noticeable and results in people that live longer, healthier, better lives.
Janneke is working with multiple partners on a few different programs in order to reach this goal. She is a co-coordinator for the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), working on Live Well, Eat Well—a new restaurant food labeling program. So far, staff and patron response has been positive.
She is also involved with farm to school programs through SHIP in Lewiston and Winona. They started by bringing in local apples and having the kids tour the orchard, now they are bringing in bison and touring the bison farm. Fresh local food comes into the school about once every other week. They are trying to not only provide healthy food, but also help kids make a connection with the sources of their food.
Determining Community Needs
By working with their local hospital, Live Well Winona is able to reference data sources that help demonstrate the need for healthy food and improved access. Every three years Winona Health and Winona County partner to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which Live Well Winona uses to prioritize the issues on which they are working. The 2016 CHNA findings lead Winona Health to initiate conversations with partners and secure grants to address pediatric food insecurity.
SHIP has also supported the Winona Farmer’s Market, just launched the Goodview Farmer’s Market this summer, and both are now accepting EBT and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps)—increasing the accessibility of healthy food for people with low incomes.
Helping People Live Healthier Lives
It’s exciting seeing the changes that Janneke is helping to create in her community. And she’s just as excited to be involved.
“Live Well Winona is an exciting and challenging organization to be a part of,” Janneke shared. “It allows me to combine my personal love for health promotion into my daily work. It lets me give back to a community that has so warmly welcomed me. And it makes every day a rewarding commitment and goal of helping people live healthier. I’m excited to be involved in bringing to life such a great mission for our community.”