Celebrating 10 Years of Impacting Healthy Lifestyle Choices Across DuPage
The past 10 years are a testament to people like you - our vast network of partners dedicated to healthy lifestyle improvements and advocates for change. Here's to you and our incredible years of change ahead!
Resources, Resources, Resources!
With help from FORWARD DuPage partners, our Referral Resource tool has been updated. Use this tool to find local programs and opportunities for physical activity, nutrition and wellness in your community by zip code.
FORWARD DuPage believes that healthy habits create healthy families. Check out our monthly themes to get your family moving in the right direction. If you would like your program listed, please contact us.
Spread the Pledge
The power of FORWARD DuPage is fueled by our partners and your commitment to use your energy and influence to make improvements in nutrition, physical activity and the built environment where you live, work, play and pray. Click here to take the pledge.
Share YOUR Accomplishments
For 10 years our partners have engaged in expanding healthy lifestyles for residents across DuPage County. Contact us or post your activity her e and become eligible for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Whole Foods.
Celebrating Community Impact Spotlight on Change!
Bottom-Up Approach to Change: Milk2MyPlate Program

In 2012, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Director of Food Procurement, Steve Ericson and Consulting Dietitian, Kelly Brasseur were searching for a protein rich source of food for families visiting food pantries. This inspired the creation of the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Milk2MyPlate program which provides a consistent supply of fresh, low-fat milk to food pantries.  

“The Milk2MyPlate program not only addresses the need for a stable source of protein,” said Kelly, “but the Vitamin D and calcium deficiency in the diets of low-income adults and children”. FORWARD DuPage, through its partners, provided a mini-grant to fund a pilot program back in 2013. It linked Prairie Farms, an Illinois based dairy farm with six DuPage County food pantries. Prairie Farms delivered fresh 1% milk weekly to the panties for distribution to families and the successful Milk2MyPlate program was off and running. 

Today, the program is in 18 DuPage County pantries and has spread to 11 Illinois counties with 58 pantries participating. Milk2MyPlate has become a national model and is now used by Feeding America . Successful and sustainable change from FORWARD DuPage from the bottom-up!  
Healthy Lifestyle
Legislative & Advocacy Update
FORWARD DuPage serves as a leadership member of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). We encourage partners to get involved in helping to advance policies to support healthy lifestyle choices across Illinois. To learn more about IAPO and their priorities  click here .
Take action! Ask your legislator to support a $500,000 appropriation for the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund!
Healthy Lifestyles in the News
A new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that a simple and brief intervention can provide lasting protection for adolescents against the harmful effects of food marketing. Researchers find diets improve when tapping adolescents' desire to rebel.
A poor diet is the risk factor responsible for more deaths around the world than any other. The low intake of healthy foods is the more important factor, rather than the high intake of unhealthy foods.
Type 2 diabetes once almost exclusively affected adults. In recent decades type 2 diabetes has increasingly become a chronic condition for children and adolescents as well.
Being overweight or obese can raise one’s risk for more than a dozen cancers.
The incidence of six cancers – colorectal, endometrial, multiple myeloma, gall bladder, kidney and pancreas – out of the 12 related to obesity in adults between the ages of 25 and 49 increased significantly between 1995 to 2014.
Two leading medical groups are urging legislators and policymakers to embrace taxes, warning labels and advertising restrictions to deter young people from consuming the sugary beverages that are increasingly linked to the nation’s crisis of obesity and chronic disease. 
Please take the time and consideration to e ndorse the Vision Statement for a Walkable America  and join America Walks as it assembles a powerful network to continue to work towards a Walkable America. Together, we can promote and defend walkability for everyone.
America Walks announces Class of 2019 Walking College Fellows.
Upcoming Opportunities
Active Transportation Alliance
Bike to School Day Webinar Training
Tuesday, April 30
8:00pm to 9:00pm

Learn tips and best practices for putting on a successful event including promotion and day of logistics. Sign up here .
Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity
Selecting Quality Health Ed Curriculum

Tuesday, April 30
3:30pm to 4:30pm

The webinar will introduce folks to the Health Education Curriculum Assessment Tool (HECAT). Register here .
Volunteer Event: Client Bag Prep
Wednesday, May 1

We would like to invite everyone to come help us pack up client bags in preparation of our build season. RSVP here .
DuPage County Forest Preserve
Forest Fitness Walk
Monday, May 6
8:30am to 10:30am

Enjoy the wonders of the preserves with a naturalist, and get some healthy exercise. Ages 18 and up. Register here .
The Resiliency Institute
Shinrin-yoku Fridays

Friday, May 3
5:30pm to 6:30pm

Enjoy a one-hour introductory walk by a Certified Forest Therapy guide to discover this restorative practice that emphasizes soaking in the sounds, scents and sights of nature for slowing the body, stilling the mind and opening the heart. Register here .
Ellyn’s Woodland Garden Tour

Saturday, May 18
10:00am to 12:00pm

Join Ellyn, a Bioregional Herbalism instructor, as she shares her journey and lessons learned restoring two acres of woodlands/wetland. Meet the many native medicinal and edible plants. Cost is $20. Register here .
Active Transportation Alliance
Bike to School Day 2019

Wednesday, May 8

Bike to School Day can be a helpful learning experience for youth, with regard to bike, pedestrian and traffic safety. It will also allow kids to get active on their way to and from school. Sign up here .
Bringing Bike & Scooter Share to Your Community

Friday, May 17
10:00am to 12:00pm

The quarterly topic of the Complete Streets Coalition meeting will be on bike and scooter share. Through a panel discussion, the meeting will explore how the new wave can fit into your region's urban, suburban and rural contexts. RSVP here .
DuPage County Forest Preserve
Native Plant Sale

Friday, May 10
11:00am to 7:00pm

Attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators with flowers, grasses, trees and shrubs. For information click here .
The Conservation Foundation
McDonald Farm Plant Sale
Saturday, May 11
8:00am to 1:00pm

Kick off your growing season in lush green style. Get those gardens ready now. For more information, click here .
American Walks
Fuel for Active Bodies: Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

Saturday, May 18
10:00am to 12:00pm

Join Ellyn, a Bioregional Herbalism instructor, as she shares her journey and lessons learned restoring two acres of woodlands/wetland. Meet the many native medicinal and edible plants. Cost is $20. Register here .
B.R. Ryall
It is a monumental year for the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County. They are celebrating 100 years of serving our community as a leading nonprofit committed to social challenges. They remain to this day a lifeline to countless local families. The Y understands the challenges that keep individuals from reaching their full potential, and they respond with services and support which help people to be healthy, productive and connected to the community. Congratulations to B.R. Ryall!
Open the Y

Friday, May 17
12:00pm to 3:00pm

Experience all that the Y has to offer! On Open the Y days, you’re invited to enjoy our pool, KidZone, gym, Wellness Center and racquetball courts free of charge. For more information on the activities click here .
The Y Run 5K and Super Kids Run

Saturday, May 18 - 7:00am to 10:00am
Downtown Glen Ellyn

Whether you are an elite runner or you’ve never completed a race, the Y Run is for you! For young runners who are not ready to compete a 5K, there is the Super Kids 1 Mile Run. For additional information and registration, click here .
Community Picnic at the Y

Saturday, June 15
11:00am to 1:00pm

In the spirit of summer fun and community friendship, join the B.R. Ryall YMCA and One Community for a free summer community picnic. Pack your lunch and drinks. We will provide the games and more. For more information, click here .
20th Annual Golf Classic and Party

Monday, June 24 - 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Village Links of Glen Ellyn

Our scramble format golf tournament includes 18 holes, with opportunities throughout the course to win prizes. The festivities continue with live music, food and socializing at the our Party on the Patio. For more information, click here .
For more information or to register for B.R. Ryall events call
Katie Sivak at 630.547.2022 or click here .
Meetup of Downer's Grove
Health Optimization in a Toxic World

Tuesday, May 14
6:45pm to 8:00pm

Learn research about natural ways that directs you maintain and restore you health using natural means. For more information, click here .
Action for Healthy Kids
Wellness Policy Symposium

Wednesday, May 15
8:00am to 12:30pm

This will provide steps for implementing the policy, and complying with assessment and administrative review processes . Register here .
IL Critical Access Hospital Network
Diabetes Symposium

May 14-15
Crowne Plaza and Conference Center

The IL Critical Access Hospital Network, IL Department of Public Health, and the IL Health and Hospital Association are pleased to present this two-day symposium aimed to increase knowledge among healthcare professionals in Illinois. Register here .
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Transportation Improvement Public Participation Plan

Public Comments Due
Tuesday, May 21

This plan will support early and continuing public involvement in the ON TO 2050 comprehensive regional plan and the Transportation Improvement Plan The draft Public Participation Plan is available for review and comment. Click here to e-mail your thoughts.
Action for Healthy Kids
Game On Grants
Application Deadline
Tuesday, May 28

Transform your school with more "BE Time" which is time without screens for kids to play and explore. Click to apply .
The Conservation Foundation
Spring Wellness Workshop
Thursday, May 30
6:30pm to 8:00pm

Discover the nutrition and wellness that empower us to achieve not only delicious meals but good health as well. Click here .
Illinois Health and Hospital Association
Diabetes Prevention Program

June 25-26 - Edwardsville Area
June 27-28 - Marion Area

This training is based on the PreventT2 developed by the CDC. Additional insights are from the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Diabetes Prevention Program. Register here .
Chef Ann Foundation
Salad Bars to Schools

Application Deadline

Salad bar shift the typical school lunch by offering students not only variety by also choice. For more information or to apply click here .
Seven Generations Ahead
2019 Farm to Summer

Registration Now Open
Harvest of the Month

Upon completion of this brief survey, you will be on your way to summer food education and fund for the children you serve. Click  here .
Get Involved

This project is a grassroots, volunteer-driven non-profit. Everyone deserves fresh produce. There are many ways that you can help us grow. Check out all of the opportunities here .
Be an Agent of Change
The challenges facing children and families to support healthy lifestyles will take the combined passions, expertise and influence of many. If you're reading this message, you are one of those influencers. Join us in our mission:
  • Donate - Too many families don't have access to the services and resources they need to stay healthy. In honor of our 10th anniversary, we've set our sights on raising $200,000 for change. Every dollar will support FORWARD DuPage's work to build capacity in communities where the need is great and the resources are too few.
  • Sign-Up - Join our coalition of thousands of partners so we can drive change for children and families and improve healthy lifestyle outcomes together.
  • Share Our Message - Spread the word about our 10th Anniversary and the impact we have had on our website or on the social media links at the bottom of the page.
Do you subscribe to the IMPACT DuPage Newsletter?
Impact DuPage is a county-wide initiative of partner organizations working to influence change in the areas of affordable housing, access to health treatment, behavioral health treatment, substance abuse and healthy lifestyles. FORWARD is Impact DuPage’s vehicle to help influence residents and partners to make positive choices regarding nutrition, physical activity, and the built environment
to improve healthy status improvement.

For more details and to stay up to date on local progress, click here and subscribe to their twice a month newsletter.  
Help Us Get the Word Out!
Do you know of an upcoming event or health fair in DuPage County?

5-4-3-2-1 Go! ® is a public education message with recommendations for children and families to promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 or less hours of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day
For helpful resources and ideas on how to incorporate this message in your DuPage County organization click here .

If you are interested in distributing health and wellness materials at an upcoming event call 630.221.7550 or email or Tonia Batogowski at