Ionia County promoting safe and secure food and environments 2017

MSU Extension efforts in ensuring safe and secure food lead to a healthy population, which in turn helps keep health care costs in check and our communities viable.

When you support MSU Extension’s efforts to enhance residents’ health and nutrition, program participants will learn proper food preparation and food preservation techniques, learn to make healthy food choices and bring community partners together to strengthen access to healthy food supplies. This leads to a healthy population, which in turn helps keep health care costs in check and our communities viable. Snap-Ed Program Instructor, Tammy Fletcher, works with a variety of partners in education to serve the residents of Ionia County. In 2017, Tammy helped our youth benefit from the partnership between the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

Making healthy choices the easy choices

Policy, Systems and Environmental (PSE) change focuses on making healthy choices the EASY choice. Of the many influences on our young people, the social and physical environment play a substantial role in the choices they make and their health outcomes.

Each year schools are offered the opportunity to apply for a grant to help make their environment healthier. The Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) is a national program that is funded by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the U. S. Department of Agriculture. This collaboration helps support schools nutritionally and physically. Research shows that by having healthier eating choices and being encouraged to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day the students reach higher levels of school achievement. Michigan State University Extension has partnered with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan in order to provide more support and guidance to the teachers, staff and students in the FUTP60 schools.

In 2016 and 2017:

  • Saranac Elementary received $4,000 towards a new milk cooler and PE equipment for their school.
  • Saranac Jr. High received $1,450 towards a countertop refrigerator and environmental improvements in the cafeteria.
  • Belding-Ellis Elem. received $4,000 towards a new milk cooler and PE equipment.
  • Belding-Woodview Elem. Received $4,000 towards a new smoothie machine, carts, and PE equipment.
  • Ionia Middle School received $4,000 towards a new milk cooler and PE recess

Ionia Middle School was selected as 1 of 30 schools in the state to attend the rally for school health for FUTP60 at Ford Field. Six students from the Ionia Middle School wellness committee and three adults were provided with funding to travel and stay overnight in Detroit prior to participating in a fun filled day at Ford Field. All participants enjoyed a healthy breakfast, snacks, and a lunch. They also heard from motivational speakers, Detroit Lions Players-Tahir Whitehead, Ameer Abdullah and Jason Hansen along with other special guests. The highlight of the day was training on Ford Field with offensive guard Laken Tomlinson and other youth football coaches.

Health and Nutrition Education for all generations

Direct education for youth:

  • Show Me Nutrition Curriculum and Cooking Matters for Teens were taught to middle school students along with PreK-5th at the summer Migrant School in Belding.
  • Teen Cuisine taught to students in Ionia County.

Direct education for adults:

  • Eat Healthy Be Active was taught to adults at River’s Edge Community Mental Health.

Direct education for seniors:

  • Eat Smart Live Strong was taught to 40 Foster Grandparents and Companions at Eight Cap in Orleans.

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