OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Food Bank for Westchester, a leading hunger-relief organization, partnered with Ossining School District Superintendent Ray Sanchez and other local officials Wednesday to celebrate Eat Healthy NY Day at Claremont Elementary School in Ossining.
Nearly 400 students took part in the awareness campaign at the the school, which included two learning rotations, students reciting the “Healthy Eating Oath” and receiving a healthy snack, according to a release from the Ossining Union Free School District.
At the end of the program, all students were awarded a certificate of achievement. Through Eat Healthy NY Day, students are taught the benefits of eating healthy and exercising and how to make healthier food choices, the release said.
In addition to the Claremont Elementary School, the Eat Healthy NY Day program travelled throughout Westchester County to schools in Yonkers and Elmsford.
“Among Food Bank for Westchester’s key initiatives is providing healthy, nutritious food to individuals in our community who are hungry,” said Leslie Gordon, president and CEO of the Food Bank for Westchester, adding that she attended Claremont Elementary. “Educating our neighbors about nutrition is very important, and we do that by incorporating nutrition education into our programs. Eat Healthy NY Day is a perfect example of how we can get children excited about eating nutritious food that include fruits and vegetables.”
By exposing community members to healthier food choices, the Food Bank for Westchester hopes to stem the tide of nutrition-related ailments like heart disease and diabetes, and reduce the incidence of childhood obesity, the release said.
“Nutritious food is essential to the lives of our children,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Westchester County is proud to support this Food Bank for Westchester initiative, which makes a difference in the lives of so many and will lead us one step closer to ensuring residents are eating healthier each and every day.”
Sanchez said, "We are so proud of our partnership with the Food Bank for Westchester. This day helped reinforce the important message that we need to foster good eating habits at an early age."
Eat Healthy NY Day is part of a portfolio of programs offered by the Food Bank for Westchester to support healthy lifestyles for children, families and seniors, which also include its Mobile Food Pantry, Green Thumb program, Food Growing program, Kids Cafes and Backpack programs in schools and educational outreach to groups and member agencies.