Did you know that more than 40% of Waltham youth are considered overweight or obese? It's never been more important to make sure all children in our community have access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities. For kids, good health often starts at school, which is why Healthy Waltham was so excited to be invited to train all of the Waltham Public School food service personnel on new techniques for encouraging children to eat vegetables. This training is just beginning, and will have an impact on almost every public school student this school year. But there is so much more work to be done and we need your help to do it.
This is why I am so excited to be writing to you as the new Executive Director of Healthy Waltham to
ask you to
join me in expressing your own commitment to improving the health and wellness of our community with a year-end gift to Healthy Waltham.
As we are a 501(c)(3), donations are tax-deductible. Your donation is a key investment in improving the health of our community - a community that both celebrates and cares about its residents.
In 2015, Healthy Waltham helped more than 2,500 people, with special focus on lower income families, recent immigrants, senior citizens and those with special needs, make the connection between diet, exercise and disease prevention through educational and collaborative programs that engage residents in healthy cooking, gardening, and physical activity. Activities included:
- Running more than 40 workshops for residents of shelters and low-income housing, recent immigrant families, and individuals with disabilities on topics such as healthy microwave cooking, use of fresh produce in new ways, and making healthy snacks
- Providing health education and physical activity opportunities as part of our new Get Healthy and Fit program for seniors
- Working collaboratively to increase access to local, fresh produce and healthy living opportunities
- Facilitating the Waltham Healthy Food Access Coalition and Food Forum, educating the community about challenges to local food access, and developing strategies to begin to solve these issues
- Working with Waltham summer school students in growing their own vegetables and herbs and helping them create healthy and delicious recipes
Our goal for 2016 is to help close the health gap
for all Waltham residents even further.
In 2016 we plan to provide additional workshops for vulnerable populations, work to get Waltham residents of all ages up and moving, develop guides to educate residents on existing healthy eating and active living opportunities, work closely with the Waltham Public school food service staff to improve food options, and expand our work with community gardens.
But we can't do it without your help. I am looking forward to building upon our strong foundation of programs and advocacy in the coming year with you.