FAIRMONT, W.Va. – WVU Extension, Mountaineer Food Bank and East Park Elementary joined forces to help not only eliminate food insecurities, but present a hands-on lesson on the importance of healthy living for students at a young age.
"Our mission is to feed the hungry in West Virginia. We realize that there is a correlation between food insecurity and also rates of obesity, so we want to promote the healthy, fresh options and provide those as well. Food insecurity is our main mission, so we are actually tackling both of those." stated Lauren Phillips, Mountaineer Food Bank worker.
Students met in the gym and were rewarded with their own green bag to pick produce for the 'Kid's Pop Up Shop' at East Park Elementary.
" A child getting excited about things that are health at an early age makes them more likely to eat them. We spend a lot of time making unhealthy food exciting like cupcakes and pizza and those sort of things, so our goal is to present healthy foods and the most fun and exciting way possible so the kids are excited to see them. They get to pick them themselves." said Lauren Prinzo, Marion County Family and Community Developement agent at WVU Extension Service.
With help from a 'DTE Energy' grant, each child will able to take home seven to ten pounds of produce for free each month, as students themselves learned the importance of agriculture and healthy living.