HHCC hopes for a healthier county fair
By STEPH TAHTINEN
Mt. Pleasant News
Healthy Henry County Communities is looking to make the fair a little healthier this year.
“We talked about just trying to introduce people to some different things, different foods they haven’t had,” said Kelly Carr, Healthy Communities coordinator said at the board meeting held on Tuesday afternoon. “That’s kind of why we’re doing this as well, not just to raise money but to be out there and present and emphasize healthy foods.”
Healthy Communities did offer some healthy food options at last year’s fair, but it was planned last minute, noted Carr.
“We were trying to go really simple, not knowing what we were getting into,” said Carr.
However, this year there has been more time to plan.
“We’re adding a lot more options,” said Carr.
In addition to the food booth, Carr noted there will be the fair activity Wrap it Up Food and Fitness Challenge on Sunday, July 21, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
This free challenge is open to anybody who wants to enter and create a wrap.
“The food part is a wrap contest, and there’s some different categories,” said Carr, who noted some Healthy Communities board members worked with the County Fair Board to develop categories such as the “best use of vegetables” or “most homegrown ingredients.”
“We did try to encourage health and using homegrown vegetables in it,” said Carr.
The challenge also includes a course with different booths of activities, and Healthy Communities will be holding a three-legged race.
The last station on the route will be the food booth.
“We’re going to do a nutrition game, and Dee Sandquist, the Hy-Vee Dietitian is going to come and be a part of that,” said Carr.
In other business, the board discussed the walking school bus program and how best to work on implementing it.
“We had very good intentions of starting that this spring at the WACO elementary school,” said Carr. “As you know, spring really wasn’t spring. It never got nice out to do this, so we just kept waiting and the end of the school year crept up.”
Another issue was changes at the administration level with a new elementary school principal and new superintendent, Carr noted.
The board discussed ways to get a walking school bus program started in Wayland as well as other communities, and the idea was raised by Jennifer Lehman, drug free communities coordinator, of involving the PTA.
The school itself would need to be involved, noted Carr, because the adult walking with the students would need to know if students on the bus are absent or if they should be walking.
Healthy Communities has a two-year grant from Wellmark to implement the walking school bus program.