Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2016
Contact: County Executive's Office, (845) 638-5122
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512
PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK: FOCUS ON ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD
NEW CITY, NY - - As part of National Public Health Week, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert are informing the community about improvements that will help everyone access healthier food in Rockland County.
The facts are clear: there's a direct link between poor nutrition and many of the leading causes of death in America such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Healthy eating is important at any age, especially for children and teens. Nearly one in three kids in this country are either overweight or obese and at risk of developing a chronic illness. Most don't eat enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains, and many take in too much sodium and sugar.
"We have been working with community partners on several initiatives to increase awareness of and access to healthier food choices in Rockland. Our goal is for all to have easy access to a choice of nutritious food at affordable prices," said Dr. Ruppert.
The Health Department is working to:
Help people make informed choices about what they eat: For example, our Corner Store Program helps small shops stock and promote healthier choices. Our Public Health Nutritionist leads supermarket tours to identify healthier, lower cost choices.
Help kids eat well: For example, our School Health and Wellness Coalition provides learning opportunities for schools and the community. They also promote the Family Meal, which encourages families to eat healthfully together.
Help support and promote fresh, seasonal, local produce: For example, our Worksite Wellness program partners with regional farmers to bring fresh produce through a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) to worksites throughout the county. Each year, many Rockland families demonstrate how much they value what they eat and where it came from by becoming a Cropsey Farm CSA member. Located in New City, this biodynamic farm welcomes new members. For more information visit www.rocklandfarm.org and click on CSA Information. The Health Department helps support and promote local Farmers' Markets.
Help support community-based projects through grants: Our Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention currently has two grants, Creating Healthy Schools and Communities and Local IMPACT, which are working on policies and programs to provide healthier vending options, access to healthier foods at corner stores, and working with several agencies on purchasing healthier foods for concession stands, cafeterias and programs.
Help develop and promote community gardens: We have helped to develop the Haverstraw and Spring Valley Community Gardens to help residents access space to grow their own produce.
Our County Health Department helps to lay the foundation that puts healthy choices within reach, whether through research, data collection, health education, policy change, or direct services. Creating the healthiest nation, and county, is also up to each one of us. We need to make the choices that improve our own health and support efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice for everyone in our community. Learn more about your Health Department www.rocklandgov.com/health, and follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/rockhealth and Twitter www.twitter.com/rockhealth for important health information delivered right to you. Visit www.nphw.org/ for more information about National Public Health Week.