Collaboration Leads To ‘Living Healthy in Florida’
By Space Coast Daily // April 24, 2014
State Agencies, Nonprofits, Others Join to Provide Nutritional Information to Floridians
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam was joined today by Sen. Rene Garcia, Sen. Bill Montford and others to launch the new campaign “Living Healthy in Florida.”
“This initiative is the first of its kind to combine the resources of elected officials, state agencies, nonprofits and others in order to communicate consistent information to Florida’s children, families and senior adults on healthy eating, good nutrition and active living,” said Commissioner Putnam.
“Using peak harvest times as a guide, individuals and families can learn how to reduce grocery shopping budgets, prepare healthy recipes that are easy to make, and learn how to integrate fresh Florida produce into any meal.”
Last year, Sen. Garcia asked the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to collaborate with other agencies in order to present a cohesive message to Floridians on how to live healthy and eat healthy in Florida. This campaign is a result of that collaboration.
“Living Healthy in Florida was created to provide the tools to promote a healthy lifestyle for all Floridians,” said Sen. Garcia. “It can be used to educate kids, adults, families and seniors, in English and in Spanish, and can be used in schools, hospitals, public community programs and private businesses.”
Sen. Montford, chair of the House Committee of Agriculture, has also supported the initiative.
“I am proud to be a part of this unique partnership,” said Sen. Montford.“I look forward to seeing this campaign expand and provide information to people across the state on how to live a more active lifestyle and eat nutritious fresh, Florida products.”
Other partners in this effort include Commissioner Pam Stewart, Florida Department of Education; Dr. John Armstrong, state Surgeon General and Secretary of the Florida Department of Health; Secretary Charles Corley, Florida Department of Elder Affairs; the Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Agency for Health Care Administration, United Health Care Community Plan and Florida Healthy Kids.
Over the past year, the work group created a tool kit, available at LivingHealthyinFL.com, with common health and wellness messages. At the center of the kit is a harvesting calendar showcasing Florida fruits and vegetables to help families eat healthy and save money by capitalizing on Florida’s produce seasons. The tool kit also contains information that can easily be shared on websites, newsletters, social media and in many other formats.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recognizes the importance of nutrition and active living in children and will be implementing these messages through the statewide school nutrition programs.
Each school district in the state has already received an electronic copy of the toolkit, and the department will be working with the districts throughout the year as the harvest calendar changes to help implement the toolkit.
In the past two years, the department has incorporated more fresh Florida products in school breakfasts and lunches.
Kids are excited to be able to eat Florida strawberries, sweet corn and citrus.
And the link between better nutrition and academic success is well-known.
The first kit includes information on 30 products, but with more than 300 Florida-grown products available to Floridians, there is room to expand.
Plans are already underway to add 30 new products next year.