Funded through private and corporate donations, The Initiative disseminates education and information without any commercial agenda.
The School Food Awareness Program
As one of its cornerstones, The Initiative has created "Grow Up Healthy," and in-school program designed to educate children, parents and teachers about healthy eating and the dangers of bad and fad diets. These programs focus on smart nutrition and better food choices, with entertainment, lectures, cooking classes and edible gardens in schools so kids can see the process from seed to table. The goal is to change kids' lives by changing the way they eat. When children eats a more balanced diet, they focus better, increase their understanding and ability to apply what they learn, thereby creating a better life. Our kids must be better educated about the consequences of an unhealthy diet. In short, we need to make them believe "it's hip to be healthy," and "Grow Up Healthy" does just that.
The Community Outreach Program
High on the list of important issues being addressed by The Initiative are obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer prevention...and how they can be treated with food. Educational programs for the public specifically focused on the issues that plague America at an epidemic level will be offered in a variety of community settings including: senior and community centers, community colleges, churches, and health clinics. The objective of these programs is to educate people that many of their health concerns can be addressed, alleviated, and often cured (or at least significantly improved) through making better food choices.
The Farm Market Program
Many inner city communities don't stand a chance of getting the healthful food they need. There are practically no supermarkets, and certainly little or no access to fresh produce. Fresh, whole food is the foundation of good health. Hand in hand with the Community Outreach Program, The Initiative works with the Farm Market Trust, to actively pursue an effort to bring farm markets and their fresh produce to inner cities. Additionally, together with local and state governments, The Initiative will work to secure grants for food stamp programs to be used exclusively at these markets.
The Scholarship Program
With an eye to the future, as the impact of The Initiative increases in the community and its benefits become apparent, we believe more young people will be drawn to a career in public health, nutrition and the culinary arts. The Initiative, in conjunction with The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, will fund a scholarship program to encourage and make it possible for any one of these young people to pursue that dream.
The Media Program
One of the primary roles of The Initiative is to contribute to the production of the national public television series "Christina Cooks" and "I Play With My Food," as well as to the creation of the national public radio program 'Well... Well... Well..." These three highly educational programs are pivotal to the success and public awareness of the work of The Initiative. Initiative funds are also made available for the publication of a health education journal for free distribution to schools and communities.
Additionally The Initiative, partnering with other organizations, develops and implements ongoing public relations effort designed to counter the daily deluge of highly impactful, manipulative media messages from food manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and the like, intended to encourage people to make inappropriate food and lifestyle choices. Featuring medical professionals, celebrities and experts in various fields, this effort will be both focused and concentrated, disseminating nationally in the form of interviews, advertisements and public service announcements, all geared to changing the American lifestyle and diet.
The Health Risk Disclosure Program
Working within the system, The Initiative spearheads efforts to bring about legislation requiring health warnings and full disclosure of scientifically proven harmful effects of certain ingredients used in food preparation. Additionally, The Initiative will work to bring about similar legislation requiring chain restaurants to make available to the public the caloric value and ingredients of the products they serve.
Success can only be achieved through education, understanding and action.