It’s not often these days that you hear the words “fun” and “N.C. General Assembly” in the same sentence. But that’s exactly what’s going to be happening this Thursday, June 9, as MomsRising and Smart Start host a fun, fast-paced, free playdate on the lawn at the N.C. General Assembly focused on healthy food and exercise for kids.
Out on the lawn of the Halifax Mall (right behind the NC General Assembly on Jones St.), parents, kids, and lawmakers will gather from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for activities that get kids moving and learning about (and eating!) healthy foods, including:
• a Pre-K 1K walk/run for kids and legislators;
• a “storyboard walk” that will get kids both walking and reading;
• an craft activity on building a healthy eating lifestyle;
• A lawmaker-led story time; and
• a “healthy choices food cart” which will be stocked with healthy food options, offered for free.
Why have an event like this at the legislature? Well, of course it’s fun, but N.C. lawmakers also need to see and be reminded how important their role is in making sure that kids across the state have access to healthy, affordable foods, time to run and play during the school day, and are educated about how a healthy diet and regular activity contribute to their overall health (and the health of our communities!).
In North Carolina, more than 1.5 million people live in food deserts, which are communities where there are no places to buy healthy, affordable food. The health of children in these communities suffers because their access to healthy foods is severely limited. It’s no coincidence that North Carolina ranks in the ten worst states for food insecurity for children and for childhood obesity. When people have access to healthy foods, choosing to eat healthier becomes easier.
Fortunately, there are ways we can fix this. The state’s abundant agricultural resources mean that there is an adequate supply of fresh food. There are a variety of ways to introduce it into food deserts, such as increasing the number of farmer’s markets, distributing food through small, local stores, and creating mobile fruit and vegetable delivery services.
Come out to join MomsRising and Smart Start as we celebrate childhoods filled with healthy food, exercise, and fun while remind lawmakers that they have a role to play in increasing access to healthy, affordable food for kids and opportunities for exercise.
Here are all the details:
When: June 9, 2016 from 10 a.m. -11 a.m.
Where: N.C. General Assembly, Halifax Mall (The grassy area behind the legislative building), 16 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601 (This is across the street from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences)
Who: Parents, children, policy makers, and others who support healthy food choices, healthy children, and farmers.
We hope to see you there!
Beth Messersmith is the NC Campaign Director for MomsRising.org and a Durham mom of two.