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The National League of Cities (NLC) has recognized Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston for the recent completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). Linn County is the first community in Iowa to achieve a gold medal for each of the five LMCTC goals. “We are thrilled to receive this distinction of being the first community in Iowa and one of only two counties in the country to earn all five gold medals,” said Linn County Supervisor Linda Langston. “Our partnership with the Blue Zones was important to our success and demonstrates our community’s commitment to building healthy environments.”
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.
Linn County was awarded the gold medals for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and increase opportunities for physical activity for children. More information about each goal is provided below:• Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart: The Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc. (HACAP) incorporated the five Let’s Move! Child Care goals into a training they offer for childcare providers. • Goal II: My Place, Your Place: To encourage healthy eating, Linn County Public Health placed the MyPlate icon wherever food is sold in county buildings and in the break rooms. ChooseMyPlate.gov has information to help people build healthier diets.• Goal III: Smart Servings for Students: In 2014, the Summer Food Service Program in Linn County expanded its meal sites and increased the number of meals provided. United Way of East Central Iowa, Horizons: A Family Service Alliance, Four Oaks, Jane Boyd, Boys and Girls Club, and the Salvation Army were the main organizations that made the program, which provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, a success. Next year, the collaborative group plans to continue to expand. • Goal IV: Model Food Service: Linn County has a healthy vending policy that ensures at least 50% of vending options in county-owned buildings meet certain nutritional standards.• Goal V: Active Kids at Play: Linn County Public Health’s AmeriCorps member, Olivia Pond, assisted KaBOOM!, Humana, Jane Boyd and the City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation in installing a multi-generational playground at Hidder Park in Cedar Rapids. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids. Linn County Public Health added the locations of Linn County parks to KaBOOM!’s Map of Play website. Linn County Public Health is currently in the process of reaching out to other cities in Linn County to help increase physical activity in children through the use of playspaces.
Linn County will be recognized at the national LMCTC workshop on November 20, 2014 in Austin, TX. More than 430 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC. For more information about LMCTC and Linn County’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org and http://bit.ly/LetsMoveLinnCounty.
In addition to Linn County, Knox County, Tenn. has also earned gold medals for all five goal areas. Counties across the country are doing in innovative work to improve individual and community health. Go to http://www.naco.org/programs/csd/Pages/Health,HumanServicesandJustice.aspx to learn about the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) work to promote health and wellness.
ABOUT LET’S MOVE! LINN COUNTY – Let’s Move! Linn County is a collaborative effort consisting of many different organizations and individuals around the county. County Supervisor Linda Langston and Linn County Public Health are overseeing Let’s Move! Linn County’s progress.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES – 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. 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.