10/19/2012 10:14:14 AM
Lancaster Food Day was part of a national celebration to help more Americans access healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced foods that included cooking workshops, “real food” dinners, discussions, and a movie screening.
“Food Day provides a great opportunity to call attention to Lancaster’s food environment, and the relationship between good food and good health,” said Beth Koser Schwartz, Healthy Weight Management coordinator at Lancaster General Health, one of the local coordinators. "We reached out with different activities to give people some of the tools they might need to make small, but helpful changes in meal planning, cooking, and food shopping.”
A community health needs assessment conducted for Lancaster County residents in 2012 shows that nearly 223,000 adults and 30,000 children who are overweight or obese. This includes nearly two in three (64%) adults, as well as a third of 6 to 11 (29%) and 12 to 19 year olds (30%).
One of the organizations that helped to spearhead Lancaster Food Day was Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local. “Connecting Lancaster households with the abundant good food grown by our farmers is at the heart of our mission,” says Linda Aleci, coordinator of the organization. “We live in a county whose agricultural productivity is the envy of the nation. Yet there are more fast food restaurants per 1,000 residents than farmer’s markets.We want to call attention to the greatest resource we have for improving community nutrition, which is our local food system."
In addition to Lancaster General Health and Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local, local Food Day was made possible by Lighten Up Lancaster County, LiveWell Lancaster County, and organizations at Franklin & Marshall College, including The Joseph International Center, Bonchek College House, The Wohlsen Center for a Sustainable Environment, and the Environmental Action Alliance.
Organizations participating in Lancaster Food Day were: Fair Trade Café; Expressly Local Food; Folklore Fermented Brews; Lancaster Central Market; ohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment; Franklin & Marshall College; and Lancaster Jewish Community Center. The day's events ended with a documentary on food and globalization, followed by a discussion led by environmental philosopher Nola Semczyszn.