In some DeKalb County communities, more than half of the residents must drive outside their neighborhood to find fresh fruits and vegetables. These food “deserts” and other county food system issues will be discussed when elected officials and representatives from school, health, faith and community-based organizations convene for a Food Day forum on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.
The “Nourish DeKalb!” forum, hosted by the DeKalb County Board of Health, is one of thousands of activities scheduled nationwide on or around October 24 in observance of Food Day. The campaign focuses on healthy diets and communities’ food problems.
“With more than 25 percent of DeKalb’s adults overweight or obese, clearly it is time to move beyond cooking demonstrations and exercise classes,” said Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford, M.B.A, district health director. “If we’re going to move the needle in our fight against obesity, we must take a look at local food policies and the decisions being made in neighborhoods and cities that affect healthy eating choices and future health.”
Details of DeKalb’s food deserts and other findings about local food production will be released in a report at the forum. A full report about DeKalb’s food system and recommendations for improvement will be released in 2012. The report is part of the community action plan of the Board of Health’s grant-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to address obesity in DeKalb.
The initiative is partnering with the Strategic Alliance for Health effort to establish more farms, farmers markets and community gardens in the county.
Other scheduled activities in observance of Food Day include:
- “Picnic in the Park” atPanolaMountainState Park(I-20, exit 68), Saturday,
Oct. 22, 2011, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., outdoor physical activities, a farmers
market, and samples of Georgiagrown food, www.TonsofFun.org.
- Open houses and festivals at participating community gardens, farms and farmers markets.
- Menu specials at participating farm-to-table restaurants serving locally grown food.
- Lessons on eating fresh fruits and vegetables through a “Color a Day” curriculum at participating schools.
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