SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release) — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club to celebrate healthy eating.
Friday, the groups together launched a new health eating initiative. A grant helped purchase salad bars for the Boys and Girls Clubs. Students voted on what vegetables they want planted in the gardens available at each club for the units.
Following the kick-off event, the salad bars will be placed at the Stalnaker and Sertoma units, where students will have access to them during snack time, dinner and special events. They will be stocked with vegetables from the gardens at each unit. The panini grill will be available for use at the Henderson unit and Vitamix blenders will be placed at the Henderson and Sertoma units. The Henderson unit is also planning a healthy cooking series, where families will learn easy ways to add healthy options to their meals using vegetables from the garden.
The Health Department received the HEAL grant in the fall of 2014 as part of a three-year initiative to promote healthy eating and physical activity in our community. The Health Department identified BCG as a valuable partner in this initiative to improve the lives of children who might not otherwise have access to healthy food options, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Nearly 17 percent of Greene County families are food insecure, which is linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and other health risks.
The Youth Health & Wellness Council is funded through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ Youth Leadership Project Grant also awarded to the Health Department. The council gives students the opportunity to make a difference in their community by influencing local transformation through policy and environment change.