By John A. Ostenburg
Seattle-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest Mayor John A. Ostenburg was the recipient on November 14 of two bronze medals at the National League of Cities (NLC) 2013 Annual Congress of Cities in Seattle. The recognition was for the Village’s completion of key health and wellness goals for the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) program. 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.
“Local elected officials play a critical role in addressing childhood obesity in our country and communities, and we commend those leaders being recognized for their achievements in taking action to improve healthy eating and physical activity in their communities,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, Ariz.
The medals were presented to Park Forest for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and increase opportunities for physical activity. The medals were awarded because of Park Forest’s achievements in meeting the program’s Goals I and III.
“I am excited about this recognition,” Mayor Ostenburg said. “It directly reflects the work that the Park Forest Health Department and the Park Forest Recreation & Parks Department have done in collaborating with our local schools to promote healthy living.”
He commended Park Forest Health Director Jenise Ervin and Recreation & Parks Director Rob Gunther as the key forces behind the Village’s success.
Goal I, Start Early, Start Smart, promotes best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings. Goal III, Smart Servings for Students, increases participation in school breakfast and lunch programs
The NLC is the lead collaborating partner on the Let’s Move initiative, working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties, and other nonprofit organizations, in assisting local elected officials to 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 sites participating in LMCTC.
More than 370 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC.