Continuing The Food Revolution In Huntington!Wed 03 Oct 2012
Story by The Food Revolution Team
Three years since Jamie started the Food Revolution in Huntington, West Virginia, things are still going strong! Health ratings are rising and more fresh, REAL food is available for the community.
In August of 2008, the CDC released a report that classified Huntington as the unhealthiest city in the United States, spawning the birth of Jamie’s Food Revolution in America. In 2009, Jamie travelled to West Virginia to battle their rising obesity rate head on and tackle the sorry state of school food.
Three years have passed since Jamie first arrived in Huntington, and we are delighted that things have come a long way. While obesity rates continue to rise across the country, Huntington has begun to see a reversal of the trend. The 2008 CDC report measured the adult obesity rate at 46% of the population, and while there is still work to be done, a new Gallup report shows that it has dropped to 36%. There is still a long way to go, but it’s a significant improvement. It’s a huge step in the right direction, and one that Huntington should be proud of!
Pastor Steve Willis, Jamie’s pal, is one of the many working tirelessly to make sure the food revolution lives on in their community, and he got in touch to share the news of all their hard work.
Huntington’s Kitchen continues to thrive, adding ten new cooking courses to the kitchen’s curriculum earlier this year. These new classes now run alongside Jamie’s Basics Steps to Healthy Cooking and Cooking Matters for Adults. The new courses are part of an effort to better address chronic disease management and prevention throughout the Huntington/Tri-State community. They range in subject from Cooking Matters for Kids and Cooking Matters for Diabetics to Low Salt Cooking & Gluten Free Cooking.
Not only are these new courses helping to educate the local community on food, nutrition, disease management and prevention, but their effectiveness will also be measured by Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, in order to help determine their impact on behavior change and health improvement.
Fresh Market & School Lunches
The Fresh Market, a farmers’ market that was created to sell local, fresh foods, is continuing to flourish in the community, opening every week in the square across from the kitchen. At the same time, the healthy school meals program started by Jamie has been rolled out to all 28 Cabell County Schools. Cabell County has now become an example for effective healthy lunch service across the country.
Huntington Area Food Bank
The Huntington area food bank distributes food to those living in poverty, which includes over 30,000 children per month. When Pastor Steve visited their warehouse a couple of years ago he realised that the food being given through this program included a lot of high salt, high sugar junk food, which is directly affecting the health of the children. Pastor Steve and the community in Huntington have been working hard since to replace the junk with healthier options.
Through donations from the community and local businesses, as well as the support of high profilers, Pastor Steve and the team have managed to get more fresh fruit, vegetables and natural food into the backpacks of food given to local children. They also continue to provide almost 200 all-natural meals for the community every week at church, and have plans to begin a Food Fight Boot Camp to train church-goers all about healthy living.
Throughout ‘Hunger Action Month’ in September, Pastor Steve and the community celebrated the improvements and partnerships they made.
Jamie weighed in on upon hearing news of their success, saying "Pastor Steve's passion and energy is phenomenal. His results over the last year or so speak for themselves. He's a one-man food revolution and I salute him. I loved the community in Huntington when I was there and the whole town, for me, is an inspiration."
Long live the Huntington Food Revolution!!
Find out more about Huntington’s Kitchen and the programs it runs here.
The Food Revolution Team
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