September 26, 2019. Our program featured Meagan Grega from the Kellyn Foundation. Their mission is to develop, support, facilitate and implement programs that encourage family and community physical and emotional wellness. The organization’s focus is on healthy lifestyles with positive outcomes that can be sustained and taught to future generations, while helping to reduce the individual, family, community and national chronic disease burden.
Why is this important? Well, only 10% of Valley residents are getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. 32% are considered obese. 12% have diabetes. Alcohol use is rising and physical activity is decreasing. We have high quality health care in the Valley but having great doctors only translates to about 20% as an indicator of mortality. That means that 80% of what influences mortality comes down to lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, our choices are often based on what is perceived to be the easiest option. Lunch at the fast-food drive through for example.
The Kellyn Foundation wants to change the societal norms. Their healthy-neighborhood immersion strategy brings healthy food options to neighborhoods that lack access to food markets. They bring their philosophy to elementary school and teach children about healthy choices in a most practical way. 26 schools now feature student- maintained gardens. The mobile food market has sold over 15 tons of produce so far this year.
October 12 will feature VegStock, a celebration of healthy lifestyle choices featuring music, fun, educational speakers, and (of course) lots of healthy food. Volunteers are encouraged to attend the Friday night meeting at 7 PM for instructions and tee shirts. Industrious Rotarians may opt to help build the hay maze on October 8 from 5-7 PM. Volunteers can register through the Signup Genius at www.signupgenius.com/go/8050A48A8AA23A6FD0-lehigh.