NEWBERRY — The Eat Smart, Move More coalition is moving along and making connections as they help to get the county on a healthier road to success.
At the Thursday monthly meeting, Susan White presented some information as food for thought on a possible local food summit proposal. White is with the University of South Carolina Center for Research on Nutrition and Health Disparities.
White said that the summit “brings people together from every aspect of the food system, from farmer to fork. We see what we have locally to build on and what gaps exist. We would have a pre-summit meeting if the coalition decides to pursue this.”
The pre-summit would be a date set for planning, identifying people across the system’s chain from farm to fork and gather participants. Next there would be a two-hour summit and then a follow-up summit.
The local food summit would engage the community and help promote the local people.
While the coalition members present at the meeting like the idea, they definitely needed time to think about this.
As vice-chair Joe Belyusar said, it is a “wonderful initiative” yet he and the coalition do not want this to be another project tacked upon the group.
The group has three strategies - tobacco prevention, healthy eating and active living - and they need to focus on that. The idea would have to be incorporated into the group instead of being a separate project.
White said that the initial project is funded for five years and they would help the coalition figure out the priorities.
White provided some objectives of the summit proposal which include:
• Envision a healthy, sustainable local food system
• Identify common values and relate to the sustainable food system
• Engage in dialogue about relationships within the communities
• Create a foundation for effective and collaborative relationships based on a shared vision and values
• Create a leadership team to advance the local food system
The coalition did not make a decision about incorporating the proposal.
In other news, co-chair Scott Sawyer said that the city’s parks assessments has been completed on 15 parks and there are ideas in the works as well as the Walk to School initiative in the works.
At a previous meeting, a representative from the state’s Safe Routes to Schools organization spoke to the coalition about involving this with their strategies. Walk to School is a part of the Safe Routes to Schools group.
The next meeting will be Jan. 10 at 11 a.m. in the Newberry hospital’s board room. There is a Facebook page for the coalition under the organization’s name, Eat Smart Move More Newberry County and a website is in the works.