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Rowan-Salisbury schools get state award for promoting healthy eating

The Rowan Salisbury School System has received a Silver Star Award from the N.C. Fruits & Veggies Nutrition Coalition for its production featuring vegetable and fruit characters.
“Rainbow Groove,” a 40-minute production featuring characters such as Ellie Eggplant, Gigi Grape and Bonita Banana, was created by the school system’s Child Nutrition Department as a fun, interactive way to teach children about the importance of fruits, vegetables and physical activity.
The Rowan Salisbury School System was among 13 organizations from across the state to receive the awards Wednesday for their work in promoting healthy eating with fruits and vegetables. The awards were presented at the Nutrition Coalition’s annual symposium at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, which provides education and networking for health educators and nutrition professionals.
The annual awards recognize successful programs in six areas: school district; individual school/child care; work sites; community/civic group; health care; and business/other.
Diane Beth, fruits and vegetables program coordinator with the N.C. Division of Public Health, called the 13 programs honored models for other organizations across the state to follow.
“If the message to eat more fruits and vegetables is going to reach all North Carolinians and have an impact,” she said, “there has to be support at the organizational level.”
Research shows that eating five or more fruits and vegetables each day plays an important role in decreasing the risk for serious chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Yet, 78 percent of North Carolina adults report not reaching the minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Statewide, the cost of poor nutrition, weight problems and obesity is estimated at $24 billion a year.
The N.C. Fruits & Veggies Nutrition Coalition promotes better health for all North Carolinians by increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption. Coalition members across the state plan and implement activities at the local level, including programs and promotions in supermarkets, schools, restaurants, cafeterias, work sites, health agencies and community groups.
Coalition members include representatives from government, academia, industry, media and other nonprofit and private organizations. Membership is open to any organization or individual wanting to promote the message to eat fruits and vegetables for better health. The N.C. Fruits & Veggies Nutrition Program is housed in the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch, N.C. Division of Public Health.
To learn more about the program or to become a coalition member, log onto www.fruitsandveggiesnc.com.

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