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Trista’s Local Leaders, Big Responsibility award (Click on Farm To Table)
At the March meeting of the Rappahannock Democrats, Trista Grigsby, director of Headwaters/Rappahannock County School’s Farm-to-Table program, gave a presentation about new legislation that will help Rappahannock County School children have better food choices. Grigsby explained that The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorizes federal funding for school lunch programs and increases access to healthier foods to all children in public schools. Before explaining the law she talked about Farm-to-table’s mission to introduce young people to locally raised, healthy foods, and she summarized the history of federal school lunch programs. She noted that malnutrition in the form of obesity in the United States has been on the rise, with latest statistics showing that 30% of America’s children are overweight. Many of the overweight children are lacking in vitamins and minerals because they are eating processed convenience foods, not nutrient dense foods. She noted that a number of children in the school system simply do not have access to healthy food at home. She stressed that the new law will help schools provide better choices, with a goal of reducing malnutrition in children who are obese and whose families do not have the resources to give them enough food. She also mentioned that the new law will make it a little easier for schools to purchase locally raised foods.
Grigsby urged members of the group and community to help county school children become better nourished by volunteering for “Body Challenge,” an eight week program sponsored by the school’s nutrition program and Farm-to-Table. The program’s goal is for teenagers to achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle. The challenge includes a 5K race, cooking demonstrations, health fairs, and nutrition counseling.