Enhancing Healthy Living: Eat Fresh RPS
While Richmond garners national attention as a top food destination, many of our own residents are living in food deserts or neighborhoods with limited access to grocery stores with healthy, fresh foods. In Virginia, 45% of youth do not even eat one vegetable serving per day. Even more disturbing, this is the first generation of kids whose life expectancy will be shorter than their parents.
In response to the rise in childhood obesity, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids was established in 2010 as an outgrowth of Sports Backers. Scaling its efforts through strategic partnerships, Fit4Kids is improving children’s wellness through hydration initiatives, learning gardens and partnerships with local schools to promote physical activity. Its latest project, Eat Fresh RPS, builds on this momentum by dramatically increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed by students in Richmond Public Schools.
With a grant from Impact 100 Richmond, Eat Fresh RPS is transforming the lunchroom environment. This spring, Garden Patch salad bars were installed in 20 elementary schools and local chefs are training cafeteria staff on new preparation techniques. Children are discovering the delicious and nutritious goodness of strawberries, carrots and sweet potatoes—just a few of their favorites so far.