Committee pushing for healthy food in recreation facilities

Belle
Belle Hatfield
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By Belle Hatfield
The Vanguard
www.thevanguard.ca
 
Should recreation facilities managed by municipal governments be offering more healthy food choices on their canteen menus? Should municipal governments have a role to play in determining food choices offered in municipally-operated facilities?

 

Yarmouth's community recreation coordinator Misty James appears before Yarmouth town council as committee member Jane Cunningham looks on.

 

 Those are among the questions a committee of the Yarmouth/Shelburne Municipal Recreation Association is challenging municipal leaders to consider.

 The committee has been working since 2010 to increase the healthy foods being offered within municipal recreation settings. They have met with user groups, done a survey and held workshops. Over the last year, they have met with the operators of seven municipally-operated recreation facilities in the region to share ideas, assess what foods are currently available, what barriers and supports there are for serving healthy foods, and what plans these facilities have for offering healthy choices on future menus.

In presentations to councils through the fall, committee representatives have outlined the issues. Chief among them is the rising rates of obesity. They have asked for municipal backing to move forward with the development of a healthy eating policy for municipal and recreational settings.

Yarmouth town council has given support in principle for the committee to develop a Healthy Eating Policy in Municipal and Recreation Settings and Deputy Mayor Jim MacLeod has been appointed to the Healthy Eating in Recreation Settings Policy Reference Group. The group hopes to have a draft policy ready for consideration with 6-8 months.

Said community recreation coordinator Misty James in her presentation to Yarmouth council, “Residents want more healthy foods available in the recreation setting and we know what facilities need in order to make this happen.”

 

Organizations: Yarmouth town council, Shelburne Municipal Recreation Association, Recreation Settings Policy Reference Group

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