Wisconsin recognized at national health summit

Wisconsin partners join national effort to shift attitudes about fruits and vegetables

Contact Amber Canto, 608-265-4975, amber.canto@wisc.edu

WASHINGTON, DC—A diverse group of Wisconsin partners, including healthTIDE, University of Wisconsin-Extension SNAP-Education, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, and University of Wisconsin-Madison (University Health Services) were recognized at the Partnership for Healthier America’s (PHA) 5th annual “Building a Healthier Future Summit” for their collective effort to improve nutrition and prevent obesity in Wisconsin.

The Summit, which featured First Lady Michelle Obama and US Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, brought together the country’s leading health and wellness executives and non-profit, government, and academic leaders to address childhood obesity—an issue critical to the country’s future.

The partners were recognized specifically for their work to bring Fruits N Veggies (FNV)—an innovative marketing campaign that promotes fruits and vegetables by harnessing the influence of athletes and celebrities—to Wisconsin.

The partners have leveraged a significant investment, with a majority of funding coming from UW-Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance education program, or SNAP-Ed, to implement the campaign in Wisconsin and to target low-income populations and communities.

SNAP-Ed is the nutrition education arm of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The program goal is to improve the likelihood that low-income families will want and can make healthier food and physical activity choices consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

At the Summit, PHA highlighted the efforts taking place in Wisconsin to promote nutrition and improve health through the FNV campaign, and specifically for the collaborative effort to bring the program to low-income markets.

“The retail food environment plays such an important role in making the healthy choice the easy choice for people, and that’s why we’re really excited to be working with Wisconsin Grocers Association,” said UW-Extension’s SNAP-Ed Coordinator, Amber Canto. “If we can help to empower low-income Wisconsinites to make healthier food choices like fruits and vegetables—we will be one step closer to building a healthier generation of Wisconsin kids.”

“We are honored that this collective effort was recognized at this level,” said Amy Meinen, co-director of healthTIDE, the statewide effort to connect partners throughout Wisconsin who work to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. “This is a great example of our collective work coming to fruition,” she said.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, including University Health Services and the School of Medicine and Public Health, is also involved in this effort. With university partners working side-by-side with the nonprofit, public and private sectors to improve the lives of all people in Wisconsin, this effort truly embodies the Wisconsin Idea. This initiative signifies the university’s commitment to public service, and bolsters the idea that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the campus.

Since its launch in 2015, FNV has garnered extensive media coverage and signed 70 celebrities and athletes including actresses Kristen Bell and Jessica Alba, WWE Superstar John Cena, musician Nick Jonas, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Anticipated rollout of the FNV campaign in Wisconsin will begin in the fall. For more information visit http://www.FNV.com.

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