January 2024 Edition

Eat Smart, Move More NC Partner

Getting Ready for a New Year!

As we welcome the New Year, I wanted to thank and celebrate all our Eat Smart, More Move North Carolina (NC) members. The movement to promote opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity; wherever people live, learn, earn, play, and pray, could not thrive without everyone’s hard work and dedication. Your unique skills and approaches to improving policies, systems, and environment are what make us successful.


It was a pleasure and a blessing to finish the year with our 1st Annual Awards Ceremony which inspired and motivated us about what Eat Smart, Move More NC is all about!


Your Eat Smart, Move More NC Executive Committee will be working hard this year around four main priorities:    

  • Creating and aligning our outcomes for better efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Promoting Eat Smart, Move More NC and its partners to support and showcase local efforts across the state.
  •  Growing the movement through strategic recruitment in various sectors and member groups.
  •  Updating and refreshing our resources, educational and networking opportunities to enhance local action and statewide impact.  

These are some lofty priorities, but we know together, we are strong and determined! Make Eat, Smart Move More NC one of your new year’s resolutions and organization priorities and encourage your colleagues to do the same!

I am looking forward to a fantastic year and wish all of you a year of personal growth, good health, and happiness.


Rich Rairigh, Chair



This abbreviation is used to shorten “In case you missed it” in text and social media. It often draws attention to a recap of events or a replay.  


In case you were unable to attend, our November 16 Awards and Recognition program was a hit! We celebrated accomplishments, we laughed with speaker Greg Moore, and shed happy tears with Cathy Thomas when she said, “My heart is full.” She was inducted in to the ESMMNC Hall of Fame along with Kathy Kolasa, Carolyn Dunn, and Alice Ammerman. Watch the video of the event, ICYMI.


During our celebration, we honored Champions, Innovators, and Students who are doing wonderful work across the state to build communities of health.  We hope that you will take a moment to read about them. 


We are inspired to grow the ESMMNC movement and continue to support collaborative efforts across the state. We are seeking to grow the membership and the Executive Committee.  


As I thought about that acronym after our event, what if we change the meaning a bit to:

I see You Making Impacts?   

In 2024, will ICYMI???

Jayne McBurney, Past Chair

2023 Award Recipients:

Hall of Fame Inductees:

Dr. Carolyn Dunn, Dr. Kathy Kolasa, and Cathy Thomas

Champion Team: Pitt County ESMM Team: Wes Gray, Alice Keene, Eli Johnson, and Alison Swart.

You can learn more about the history of ESMM and the Pitt County Team at:

Kathy Kolasa: Eat Smart Move More team win awards | Feature Columnist | reflector.com

Champion: Hayley Cowell, Stanly County, NC Cooperative Extension with ESMMNC Chair, Jayne McBurney

Student Team: Laurel Currie, Cristal Gonzalez-ValdezWynn Whittington, Eli Johnson, Allison Swart, and Alice Keene

Innovator: Marlana Baker, Cherokee County, NC Cooperative Extension with Dr. Rich Bonanno and Dr. Ray McKinnie

Please Join Us in Thanking Joanne Lee! 


Joanne Lee will be stepping off of the Executive Committee at the end of her term this month. She has served ESMM well for the past nearly 20 years!


Kathy Kolasa said it best: “It’s been a privilege and pleasure to work with so many people in Pitt County and across the state. As a current ESMM Board member, Pitt County resident Joanne Lee, wasn’t eligible for an award, however, we would award her Pitt County ESMM champion. She encourages and supports all who work to make Pitt County and all of eastern North Carolina a healthier place to live.”

Thank You Joanne!!

 Open Comment period…


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking comments on Strategies to Reduce Added Sugars Consumption in the United States. Specific topics of interest to FDA include specific actions the food industry could take to achieve added sugars reduction in the foods they provide, opportunities for the public and private sectors to work together to achieve added sugars reduction, innovative, successful policies and strategies that the food industry (e.g., manufacturers, restaurants, etc.) or communities are using to help reduce consumption of added sugars, strategy and culturally appropriate strategies and sensitivities should be considered when addressing overconsumption of added sugars in those populations. The deadline to submit comments is January 22, 2024.


The comment period for the Development of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is now open. The current edition of the Dietary Guidelines (2020-2025) provides guidance on the entire lifespan, from birth to older adulthood, including pregnancy and lactation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030 will continue to provide food-based dietary guidance across the entire lifespan to help meet nutrient needs, promote health, and reduce the risk of chronic disease. The first meeting of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will take place from February 9-10, 2024, and future meetings will be noticed in the Federal Register. The deadline to submit comments October 1, 2024.

Coming soon: 2024 Meeting Dates and New Executive Committee Members!

Join us in working toward the Eat Smart, Move More NC vision: a North Carolina

where healthy eating and active living are the norm, rather than the exception.