Healthy Kids Community Challenge Reports Continued Success 

For Immediate Release
1/16/2018 
Contact: Stephanie Quattrociocchi 
Phone: 519-759–4150 

BRANTFORD, ON – Nearly three years after launching its first theme, the City of Brantford and County of Brant are pleased to share the continued success of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Focusing on the development of community partnerships and local awareness, several campaigns were designed to modify the culture surrounding children’s health. Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit, the program’s third and most recent theme, focused on increasing awareness of the benefits of fruits and veggies, as well as making healthy food more accessible to children and their families.

Since first launching in 2015, the Healthy Kids Community Challenge has had well over 30,000 participants and contributors from over 200 community partners. "This has been a very impressive program," said Healthy Kids Community Challenge Champion Mayor Chris Friel. “We have seen the incredible generosity and passion of the community through partnerships, events, and helping spread the word about the importance of children's health.”

Program funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) is scheduled to end in 2018 and City staff is currently working with community partners to find options to continue the successful program locally. "This is the type of program that has the most impact. We need to reach children and young families to support them in creating healthy life-long habits,” said Jo Atanas, General Manager of Health and Human Services for the City of Brantford.

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a MOHLTC initiative that is designed to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity by developing programs and policies that support healthier lifestyles. This multi-year initiative is organized into themes, each highlighting a protective factor against childhood obesity. Theme 1 (Run. Jump. Play. Everyday!) was launched in September 2015 to encourage physical activity through play, active transportation, sports and unstructured exercise. Theme 2 (Water Does Wonders!) was added in July 2016 to highlight the importance of drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Theme 3 (Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit!) was launched in April 2017 to increase awareness of the benefits of healthy eating. In November 2017, the Ministry of Health announced funding to extend the 'Challenge' by an additional six months to implement a fourth and final Theme, Power Off and Play!, designed to encourage children to reduce screen time in favour of healthier and more active experiences.

The 'Challenge' is a key part of Ontario's Healthy Kids Strategy, as well as the City of Brantford's Healthy Brantford Strategy, and utilizes a community-led approach, where partners from both the private and public sectors contribute expertise and resources to implement projects and programs. Since the start of the Challenge, over 200 community stakeholders including health organizations, social service agencies, and local businesses have provided in-kind support, contributing greatly to the program’s great success.

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Media Contact:

Stephanie Quattrociocchi
Communications Specialist
Communications and Community Engagement
Office of the CAO | City of Brantford
519-759–4150 Ext. 5533 | Squattrociocchi@brantford.ca