On Tuesday, March 22, 106 YMCA staff, representing 30 different communities, gathered at the Southington Community YMCA in Southington, to learn more about the YMCA’s national Healthy Eating and Physical Activity program.
During a three hour conference, YMCA staff learned why this program is important, discussed how their facility is implementing the program, and heard from experts from Wilton, Southington and East Hartford who have already made great strides in delivering the program back home.
HEPA is a set of seven standards that YMCAs across the country are asked to follow.
These standards include providing a fresh fruit and/or vegetable option with snack, limiting the amount of screen time kids get at the YMCA, and intentionally providing the opportunity for vigorous physical activity every day. These standards were created and are being implemented as a part of the YMCA’s response to the rising trend of childhood obesity across the nation.
In 2015, Over 500,000 Connecticut residents were involved with the YMCA as members, program participants, volunteers and staff.
Almost 150,000 of those individuals were children. The goal is that by focusing on delivering a healthy experience to all individuals who come into the YMCA, these individuals find it easier to make healthier choices every day.
For additional information about HEPA and the YMCAs role in promoting healthy lifestyles throughout the state of Connecticut, contact Jay Jaronko, CT YMCA Network Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Andrew Lyon, CT Alliance of YMCAs Community Health Initiatives Coordinator, at email@example.com.
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