The City of Allentown has garnered a record-tying fifth gold medal in the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) competition.
The city was notified on January 26 that it earned a gold medal in Goal II: My Plate, Your Place. The city has now achieved gold medals in all five categories. Allentown is one of only two Pennsylvania municipalities and 24 municipalities across the country to be so honored. More than 460 communities are participating in LMCTC.
MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to ChooseMyPlate.gov. The gold medal was awarded in recognition of prominently displaying MyPlate in 100% of municipally – or county-owned or operated venues that share food and for registering as a MyPlate Community Partner.
LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic policies that improve communities’ access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity through five goal areas.
“We congratulate Allentown for its dedication to building a healthier community for children and families,” said NLC President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah. “Through the tireless leadership and action of local elected officials in cities, towns and counties across the country, we hope to see continued progress in reversing America’s epidemic of childhood obesity.”
“I am pleased and proud to accept these medals on the city’s behalf,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said. “The city Health Bureau has worked tirelessly to reach the benchmarks set forth by Let’s Move! to earn these medals. We are working hard every day to reduce childhood obesity in Allentown. The information campaign is an important component of that effort.”
Medals are awarded to local elected officials based on achievements in each of the following five goal areas:
· Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings
· Goal II: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
· Goal III: Smart Servings for Students: Expanding access to meal programs before, during and after the school day, and/or over summer months.
· Goal IV: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
· Goal V: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity
The city had previously been awarded gold medals in Goals I, III, IV and V.
NLC is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations, to assist local elected officials who join LMCTC as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded NLC a grant to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including those participating in LMCTC.
More than 70 million Americans are now living in LMCTC communities that are dedicated to helping young people eat healthy foods and be physically active. Each month, NLC recognizes local elected officials who achieve key benchmarks for the five LMCTC goals. Since July 2012, NLC has awarded 2,170 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials across the country for their LMCTC progress.
For more information about LMCTC and Allentown’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.