On Thursday, January 24, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced Richmond as the 2019 1st place medium-sized city winner in the Childhood Obesity Prevention program, sponsored by the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America. Mayor Levar Stoney, in partnership with the non-profit Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, received the award at the USCM annual conference.
“A healthy body fuels a healthy mind, which is why I want all kids in Richmond to eat smart and move more,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “Heart disease runs in my family, so this is personal to me. The unique programming Fit4Kids delivers to students sets the standard for wellness and we’re proud to partner with them.”
“We believe that active, well-nourished children learn more at school and have greater self-esteem,” said Mary Dunne Stewart, CEO of Fit4Kids. “Eat Smart Move more is about building brighter futures for kids. And Fit4Kids is honored to partner with Mayor Stoney to have a positive impact on thousands of Richmond children.”
The $120,000 grant awarded to Greater Richmond Fit4Kids will be used to support “Eat Smart, Move More RVA,” an initiative to raise the profile of physical activity and healthy eating for students in Richmond. Specifically, the program will encourage students to:
· Eat smart in the cafeteria with the Mayor’s Fruit and Veggie Challenge where more than 35,000 fruit and veggie samples will be distributed during one week in Fall 2019.
· Eat smart in the Learning Gardens: More than 500 students will get their hands dirty in the Fit4Kids Learning Gardens where they will plant, nurture, harvest and taste fresh vegetables.
· Move more with the Mayor’s Cup and Kids Run RVA (led by Sports Backers): Hundreds of Richmond students will participate in Kids Run RVA Clubs and receive complimentary entry to the Virginia529 Kids Run one-mile race. The school with the highest percentage of students participating in the race will be awarded a large trophy (the “Mayor’s Cup”) and a pep rally with Mayor Stoney.
· Move more during recess: All 22 Title I Richmond Elementary Schools will be provided with recess kits to promote physical activity
· Move more in the classroom: Fit4Kids successful Wellness Integration program will serve Chimborazo Elementary School for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years reaching 400 students.