Learning how to care for your body and health at a young age through proper and balanced nutrition can lead to a healthier adulthood. Children can't sustain a healthy diet on their own, they need the support and encouragement from their families and communities. Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) supports nutrition education programs that expose our youth, families and communities to nutritious eating choices. As we review our 2012 partners, we found an overwhelming focus on nutrition education, however there was a significant opportunity to provide access to food to the individuals within our communities. Our priority in 2013 will be to expand this focus area to include access to food as an equally important goal of HKHF.
A few of our key partners to promote nutrition education are:
The Greater Chicago Food Depository , facilitates a food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. Food is distributed through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children in Cook County every year. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 64 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 134,800 meals every day. Support is provided to the innovative Bring the Family to the Table program, a monthly family event at five Chicago Park District Wellness Centers that provides healthy meals, nutrition demonstrations and physical activities.
We will be partnering with New Mexico Appleseed over the next three years to support the Ending Hunger and Obesity in New Mexico's Children program. The partnership's goal is to help decrease hunger, obesity and their collective effects on children. New Mexico Appleseed benefitted nearly 100,000 children in 2011 and, through the partnership with HKHF, plans to impact 120,000 children in 2013.
The Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council Inc. , partners with us to implement the Project POWER: Fitness initiative. The program covers many areas, and nutrition education is a main component of the program. Our partnerships assists in expanding the number of regular family based educational activities, such as structured family visits to a local farmer's market, family cooking classes and family fun nights.
Marathon Kids learn to live an active and healthy lifestyle by running or walking 26.2 miles over six months, eating healthy food daily, and even learning to grow fruits and veggies! Children are challenged to complete a checklist of healthy eating by checking off their Marathon Kids Fuel Log©. The Fuel Log is a tool to encourage kids to try new fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water, and fuel their bodies with great food and drink choices!