Afterschool Program to Teach Area Children About Health and Nutrition

YouthQuest(FLINT, MICH. – JUNE 14, 2011) The Community Foundation of Greater Flint has awarded the Genesee Chamber Foundation (GCF) a $10,000 grant from its Healthy Youth/Healthy Seniors Fund to support the YouthQuest Health and Nutrition program.  GCF is the fundraising arm of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

Can children identify most vegetables?  Do they understand the link between their health and the things they eat?  Do most children understand the source of healthy food?  According to Jaimie Oliver’s Food Revolution the answer is no.  Oliver says when a group of grade school children were shown a basket of vegetables they couldn’t identify any of them, not even a potato.  In response to the need to teach Flint-area children about healthy eating, YouthQuest created a Health and Nutrition program.

As an integral part of the YouthQuest afterschool program, the Health and Nutrition program is designed to provide age appropriate education that promotes healthy eating habits.  Students learn how to live a healthy lifestyle by making the right choices for meals and snacks through nutritional education, physical activities and recreational experiences.

Tim Herman, Genesee Chamber CEO says our future depends on teaching children how to live long and healthy lives.

“The YouthQuest Health and Nutrition program is making an investment in the future of this region by working with the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, MSU College of Medicine at Hurley Medical Center, the Food Bank of Genesee County as well as area grocers and the local Farmer’s Market to teach students about the importance of healthy eating,” said Herman.  “Today’s youth are the standard bearers of tomorrow’s business community and they will be charged with maintaining the vitality of Genesee County for decades to come.”

“By working with these organizations YouthQuest has created an interactive program that engages children as they learn how to make healthy food choices while incorporating physical activities.  This is a very valuable resource for area children.”

YouthQuest serves nearly 1,500 students across 15 school-based sites.  The Health and Nutrition program will be offered in Flint Community Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Schools, Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools and Montrose Schools.

According to Rhetta Hunyady, Group Vice President of Operations and Employer Education and Training Connection for the Regional Chamber the goal of the program is to teach children the health and environmental benefits of eating fresh, locally grown and organic foods.

“By taking children on field trips to the Farmer’s Market and local urban farms we want to teach them where the food they eat actually comes from,” said Hunyady.  “So many of the children served through YouthQuest have grown up like most children, eating processed food that is just not good for them. By developing healthy eating habits at an early age it is our goal to help these children live long healthy lives.”

YouthQuest (www.yquest.org/) is a free, innovative after school enrichment program for youth in Genesee County, managed by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (www.flintandgenesee.org) is the voice of business and community advocacy in Genesee County. The Regional Chamber is over 100 years old, was established before the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Two words describe the Regional Chamber as it enters its second century of service: collaboration and partnership. It is our goal to work with government, business, education and nonprofit organizations to support the growth and development of the community economically, culturally and socially.

About the Community Foundation of Greater Flint

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint serves the common good in Genesee County—building a strong community by engaging people in philanthropy and developing the community’s permanent endowment—now and for generations to come. CFGF helps donors support the causes they care about, today or through their estates. Since 1988 the Community Foundation has granted more than $80 million to nonprofit organizations to build a thriving community. CFGF serves Flint and all of Genesee County including its geographic affiliates in Clio, Davison, Fenton, Flushing and Grand Blanc.

About YouthQuest

YouthQuest is a high-quality, research-based afterschool program offering educational and enrichment activities that engage young minds. Available at 15 sites in the city of Flint and Genesee County, YouthQuest serves 2,000 students in grades K-12 each year. The program is administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. For more information, visit www.yquest.org.