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Independence Recognized for Achievements
March 7, 2013

The National League of Cities (NLC) has awarded six medals to the City of Independence for actions taken to improve access to healthy, affordable food and increasing opportunities for physical activity. These are key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC).

One gold, two silver, and three bronze medals were awarded as a result of the work done by multiple entities throughout Independence. LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation.

“Local elected officials play a critical role in addressing childhood obesity in our country and communities, and we commend those leaders being recognized for their achievements in taking action to improve healthy eating and physical activity in their communities,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, AZ.

Health Director Larry Jones said that the City of Independence has been working hard to increase physical activity and healthy food choices through the Building a Healthier Independence grant initiative. “Multiple City departments have collaborated to increase access to community recreational facilities, make parks and trails safer, and build new sidewalks to parks and schools,” Jones said. “With last year’s move to increase healthy vending options at City facilities and healthy concession options at Adventure Oasis, the City has demonstrated a commitment to combating obesity.”

All LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal they commit to as part of the initiative. The five goal areas are:

· Goal 1: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings

· Goal 2: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served

· Goal 3: Smart Servings for Students: Increasing participation in school breakfast and lunch programs

· Goal 4: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

· Goal 5: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity

More than 200 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC. To date, NLC has awarded 669 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials across the country for their progress.

For more information about LMCTC and Independence’s accomplishments, visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org or contact Christina Heinen, Public Health Program Coordinator at (816) 325-7185.

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