Friday, April 23, 2010

Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Event to Promote Increased Access to Healthy Foods in Schools and Neighborhoods

/PRNewswire/ -- The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Speaker Series will host an expert panel on May 22, 2010, to promote innovative ways of providing schoolchildren and families in Georgia with greater access to healthy local foods.

Featuring Food Network Chef Alton Brown, Yael Lehmann of The Food Trust and Anthony Geraci of the Baltimore City Schools, the event is part of the Foundation's ongoing work to reduce childhood obesity.

"Combined with our efforts to move more children from sedentary to active lifestyles, connecting families to fresh local foods is critical to reversing the obesity crisis," said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. "In neighborhoods where fresh food is scarce, rates of obesity, diabetes and related health problems hit children earliest and hardest."

The Speaker Series event is by invitation only, and reservations are required. The program will be available via live webcast from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET. No registration is needed to view the webcast. Click here for information on the webcast, or go to http://www.blankfoundation.org/news/SpeakerSeries.html.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and its affiliated fund, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, have invested more than $16 million since 2002 to improve youth fitness in Georgia. Currently, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation focuses on five neighborhoods designated as Falcons Fitness Zones, where it is serving 10,000 kids at nearly 50 sites.

As part of this effort, concurrent with the May 22, 2010, Speaker Series event the Foundation is announcing a $34,000 grant to Georgia Organics to provide hands-on farming and gardening experiences to more than 60 teachers and 500 elementary school students, along with support to improve meals served in school cafeterias. Further, Georgia Organics will produce a local-food widget. This web-based tool will enable users to identify nearby markets and restaurants offering local fare.(Contact Michael Wall at Georgia Organics for more information about this grant).

In addition to Georgia Organics, several organizations are joining the Foundation's May 22, 2010, Speaker Series event to promote access to healthy foods. Partner organizations include Captain Planet Foundation, The Civic League for Regional Atlanta, Peachtree Road Farmers Market, Atlanta Local Food Initiative, Slow Food Atlanta, Wholesome Wave Foundation, Atlanta Development Authority, Georgia Children's Health Alliance, Multicast Media, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the Georgia PTA.

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