It was “All Good” last week when Palisades School District hosted an event to highlight the wonderful wellness choices we have in our community. We often hear the details about childhood obesity rising with high processes/low nutrition food choices and sedentary lifestyles encouraged by interest in computer video games. What we do not always hear about is all of the people trying to change that behavior and the ideal choices to improve our lifestyles that are conveniently offered close to home. The timing of the event was ideal with several key factors taking place in the school district: a new Superintendent Dr. Bridget O’Connell who is carrying the baton for fresh foods following Dr. Francis Barnes’ initiatives, new Food Services Director Gerry Giarratana trying to make nutrition a priority over subsidies, an active Wellness Committee led by parents including Ann Marshall of Keeping it Real in Palisades blog and Michael Lynch, a board member who has been making Fresh Foods for Palisades a priority for years.
Palisades School District optimized the opportunity by hosting the premier of “Food for Thought” created by the Bucks County League of Women Voters, a social “concession” time where local businesses could showcase their offerings as well as a panel discussion to follow including Well of Life, Crystal Connor nutritionist, mother and daughter of KidsShape program. Community members, students and parents strolled to chat with “good choice concessioners”. They sampled schools yogurt smoothie treats, raw kale chips, organic Honeycrisp apples, and enjoyed a guilt free hot dog and pizza slice, while also taking a spin on a bike, testing chemical free cosmetics when strolling by: Applegate Farms Organic hot dogs, Ottsville’s Kimberton Whole Foods healthy lunch choices, Jules Thin Crust organic pizza, Ottsville Farmers Market, Brad’s Raw lunch box size chips, Winter Sun Farms nutrient dense frozen local food CSA, and Suburban Organics door-to-door food delivery service as well as exercise and wellness practitioners of Luck’s Upper Bucks Gym, Nockamixon Athletic Club, Cloud Hands Massage, Bucks County Master Gardeners, as well as Ann Silverman Free Clinic, Bloom Chiropractic in Revere, Bucks County Area Agency on Aging, Carol for Heart, The Food Comfort Center, Hellertown Chiropractic, Hunger Nutrition Coalition, Maleleuca Products, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Naps 2 B Fit, PACT, Palisades Cafeteria Food Service, Palisades Community Foundation, Revolutionary Home Health, St Mary’s Medical Center.
WOW!!! Aren’t we lucky to live in such a great area with GOOD choices all around us! Now it is up to US to decide to make a change. Let’s do that together and see how easy and fun it can be!
Follow the school districts efforts on their website and if you would like to host your own program, contact the League of Women voters for the free film. Let’s make “good choices” the epidemic.
Thanks to food services director Gerard Giarratana, student advisors Amy Hitcho and Jeanne Smith, Joanne Connelly of Bucks County League of Women Voters, community relations director Donna Holmes, Parent Wellness Committee Member Ann Marshall, Nora Katz Students for Social Change, and Michael Lynch School Board Member of the Fresh Foods Committee for all that you do to initiate changes.