Letters to the editor (06/30/12)

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Meal sites are available around Valencia County
Editor:
My name is Kelsey Bullard and I am a youth ambassador for Share Our Strength and the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, two non-profit organizations committed to ending childhood hunger in New Mexico and across the United States.
The New Mexico No Kid Hungry Campaign, a campaign launched through the partnership of the above two organizations, focuses on ending childhood hunger in New Mexico, in part by increasing children’s access to summer food programs.
This summer, children ages 1 to 18 can participate in the national Summer Food Service Program. The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap that often takes place during the summer months with no school breakfast or lunch, and ensures children can get the nutritious meals they need.
Belen has more than 17 summer meal sites throughout the city that kids can visit for a free lunch this summer. To find a site near you simply visit www.summerfoodnm.org or text FoodNM to 877-877.
My job as a youth ambassador is to accompany the meals with the Summer Challenge Program, developed by the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger and Dairy Max.
The summer challenge includes nutrition education and physical activities for the kids. The activities and education provided are adapted from the National Dairy Council, the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program, and the ReCharge! curriculum from Action for Healthy Kids.
Promoting the idea of fueling your body properly with nutritious food and playing outside at least 60 minutes a day for a healthy lifestyle and through concepts such as “Energy In” (food and nutrition) and “Energy Out” (physical activity).
Kids who participate in the daily activity at the sites will be entered into a raffle for various daily prizes and a larger prize at the end of the summer. This summer we are also promoting Fuel Up to Play 60’s Summer Dance Party Challenge.
The challenge is to create and submit a 60-second video of a group of youth showing their best dance moves. I will be working with youth to film at various summer meal sites in the coming weeks and the videos will be submitted in a statewide and national contest.
Most of the kids at the sites are simply happy to have toys, activities and others to interact and play with. Our goal is to promote the Summer Food Service Program and Summer Meal sites, along with getting kids to eat healthy and be active.
It’s easy for everyone to help us achieve this goal; tell your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, etc., to visit www.summerfoodnm.org to find the summer meal site closest to you.
Visit me at any of these five sites from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. throughout the summer for more information and to join the summer challenge:
• Monday: Jose Gallegos Park
• Tuesday: Belen Crossing Apartment
• Wednesday: Timan Park
• Thursday: Willie Chavez State Park
• Friday: Tomé-Adelino Fire Station.

Kelsey Bullard
Youth Ambassador
NM Collaboration to End to Hunger