On Wednesday, the First Lady's Office and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships held a Stakeholders Meeting with faith-based and community organizations on the First Lady's Let's Move! Initiative. Supported by Partnership Centers from four agencies, this meeting gave leaders from across various sectors an opportunity to share ideas with the Administration on how faith and community-based organizations can partner with Let's Move! to help eradicate childhood obesity in a generation and increase access to healthy and affordable food.
While childhood obesity rates have more than tripled during the past 30 years in children ages 6 to 19, nearly 17 million children also face hunger and lack access to healthy food choices each year. Participants learned about President Obama’s proposal to add $10 billion in increased funding over the next ten years for the reauthorization of Child Nutrition programs, and about additional Federal resources available to community organizations.
By providing innovative programs and resources that promote healthy living in their communities, the stakeholders in this meeting practice the principles of Let's Move! every day to address these challenges. In addition to sharing partnership ideas and strategies, the participants also gave the Administration input for a Let's Move! toolkit for faith and community based groups. The toolkit focuses on four pillars affecting childhood obesity:
- healthy choices,
- healthier schools,
- physical activity, and
- affordable and accessible food.
With the feedback we received from meeting participants, we plan to make it a valuable resource for faith-based and community organizations that are looking for concrete ways address childhood obesity in their communities.
We look forward to visiting communities to see impact these leaders are having and illustrate the principles of Let's Move! To that end, we are working with these leaders and many others to meet the First Lady’s goal of ending childhood obesity and hunger!
Joshua DuBois is the Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships