Almost four years ago, the idea first surfaced – a meeting of all organizations working in Chicago schools around issues of nutrition. At the time, it seemed impossible for a fledgling organization like Purple Asparagus to pull together such an audacious event. But like every little idea with big ambitions, this one kept nagging at us. Finally, through relationships built with other like-minded organizations we created a steering committee in late 2009 to ultimately accomplish our ambition.
On a windy January Sunday, representatives from about thirty different for-profit and non-profit organizations met for two hours to share ideas and forge relationships. Successful beyond our expectations, the only complaint we fielded was that the meeting wasn’t long enough – a 2 hour meeting on a Sunday was not long enough. It was at that moment that we realized that we were on to something.
Fast forward to six months later, we’ve got a name (Growing Healthy Kids), a plan (quarterly educational meetings both for the group itself and the general public), and a newly launched blog to celebrate the accomplishments of our members and to share resources both within our community and to the public at large. The health issues that face our country’s children are difficult and deeply rooted. The only way that we can meet the challenges is by working together – no one person or organization can do it alone.
Our official statement is the following:
Established in 2009, Growing Healthy Kids is a network of over 30 Chicagoland organizations dedicated to child-wellness. Created out of the need for collaboration and awareness for urgent child-wellness issues Growing Healthy Kids provides a single forum for Chicagoland groups. Their outreach plans include seminars, trade shows, online community building and best practice building. Growing Healthy Kids is led by Purple Asparagus, a non-profit dedicated to bringing families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating.
Growing Healthy Kids is committed to helping its partners tackle the issues of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and educating children about nutrition, gardening, the environment and overall how to lead health sustainable lives. By sharing resources and ideas through education we enhance each organizations ability to achieve our common goal of Growing Healthy Kids.
We would like to thank our intrepid steering committee:
Trisha Reynolds, Melissa Tobias, Nora Gainer, Karen Stevenson, Ryan Kimura, Tim Magner, Nancy Lufrano, and Sara Gasbarra. We also want to give a special thanks to Courtney Woods for lending her talents to create this blog.