Growing Healthy Kids holds inaugural meeting

September 2008 061.jpg

In response to growing health concerns about Chicago's kids -- including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and decreased physical activity -- several local organizations and individuals within the Chicago food community have joined together to develop new ways of sourcing, providing and thinking about food.

This newly formed group recently gathered at the Logan Square Kitchen for the inaugural Growing Healthy Kids Meet & Greet to begin their efforts.

Spearheaded by Melissa Graham, founder of Purple Asparagus,
a non-profit dedicated to bringing families back to the table, the
event focused on bringing together all city groups dedicated to
educating children about nutrition, gardening, the environment and how
to lead a healthy, sustainable life.  "We wanted to provide non-profits
working with Chicago kids around issues of food and wellness an
opportunity to meet and learn more about one another so that they could
find ways to collaborate.  The issues facing our city's children are
huge and daunting and not one organization can solve them alone," said

The gathering brought together both non-profit groups and other active
school lunch partners like Chartwells Thompson Hospitality, the main
food service company for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Many of the
participating organizations work specifically with CPS to improve kids'
understanding of where food comes from and how it affects their health.

Participants included:

 Academy for Global Citizenship  
 Chartwells Thompson Hospitality  
 Chicago Botanic Garden  
 Common Threads  
 Crop To Cup 
 Food Atelier  
 Fresh Connections  
 Good Food Project  
 Gourmet Gorilla  
 Grant Kessler Photography
 Green City Market
 Growing Power, Inc.  
 Healthy Schools Campaign  
 Logan Square Kitchen 
 Nora Gainer, NGD Marketing, Inc.  
 Organic Life  
 Purple Asparagus  
 Sandy Noel, District 96 Oak Park  
 Seven Generations Ahead  
 Share our Strength  
 Slow Food
 Tev Bond, Consultant  
 The Kids Table  
 Trisha Reynolds, Consultant
 Urban Worm Girl  
 We Farm  

Chicago kids certainly deserve better food and lifestyle choices and I am eager
to hear more about this powerhouse collaboration and their future plans
-- definitely a step in the right direction.

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