August 3rd, 2010

It’s about time we gave a shout-out to the fabulous work our friend Amanda Storey is doing coordinating Jefferson County’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) grant.

HKHC is a 4-year grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supporting community action to prevent childhood obesity. Via their website:

“With funding through Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership, a coalition of more than 60 partners, is aiming to create ‘a climate for change.’

The Health Action Partnership, with United Way of Central Alabama as the lead partner in this effort, plans to:

  • Involve residents in a community-wide assessment of how neighborhoods, schools, after-school care providers and work sites can better support healthy eating and physical activity
  • Promote safe greenways, bike lanes, sidewalks and trails to connect neighborhoods
  • Support development, distribution and vending policies that will encourage more stores to offer nutritious foods
  • Work with local farms and faith-based organizations to expand community gardens and createopportunities for healthy foods in under-served areas
  • Help day-care centers and after-school programs provide healthy foods and more physical activity by expanding their resources, developing an obesity-prevention health curriculum and training staff on best practices.” (links added by us -ed.)

Amanda blogs over at Food Revival, where her passion for this work is evident. The Birmingham News recently featured a piece about one of the outcomes of her work – “Birmingham’s Aletheia House adds nutritious snacks to its summer program for youngsters.” On Food Revival, she wrote, “What is so great about this story is that it illustrates how your relationships, community connections, and overall interest in making things better can make a HUGE difference in a child’s life.”

Saturday was Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Day at Pepper Place Farmer’s Market, and kids from the Aletheia House’s Kids Who Care camp performed a surprise step show (flash mob?) in the middle of market day to celebrate. A procession chanting “be healthy! be healthy!” made their way to the center of the market square, before breaking out into a step show about fresh fruits and veggies. Check it out:

To read more about HKHC and some opportunities to get involved, visit Food Revival.

Posted by Robyn Hyden