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Home News Expanding Efforts to Help More Kids Eat Healthy, Stay Fit
Chris Sanchez
505-819-1398 Office

Expanding Efforts to Help More Kids Eat Healthy, Stay Fit

Expansion Doubles Participating Counties, Quadruples Participating Tribal Communities

Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced an expansion of Healthy Kids Healthy Communities, a series of initiatives designed to provide families, children, and communities throughout the state with more resources and education for healthier eating and more active lifestyles. Through more efficient use of federal funding, the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) will expand participation in Healthy Kids New Mexico from nine counties to 18, and from two tribal communities to eight.

"Fighting childhood obesity is a battle we can and must win," said Governor Martinez. "A healthier diet and more exercise can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and help kids learn in the classroom. Giving more of our kids opportunities to eat healthy and get active will lay a stronger foundation for them to succeed."

This expansion combines $1 million in federal funding through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) with Healthy Kids New Mexico. Healthy Kids New Mexico and its partners have leveraged at least $4 million to support healthy eating and physical fitness opportunities and education efforts for New Mexico children, schools, and families.

Since 2012, Healthy Kids New Mexico, along with more than 400 state and local partners, has worked to offer more opportunities for healthy eating, physical fitness, and corresponding education to elementary school students and their families. Earlier this year, DOH announced a 20 percent decrease in childhood obesity among New Mexico 3rd graders since 2010.

Chaves, Cibola, Curry, Dona Ana, Luna, McKinley, Guadalupe, Rio Arriba, and Socorro Counties currently participate in Healthy Kids New Mexico programs. Through this expansion, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Otero, Quay, Roosevelt, San Juan, and Valencia Counties will also participate, doubling the number of counties to 18. This expansion also quadruples the number of participating tribal communities, growing from two to eight. Currently, San Ildefonso and Zuni Pueblos participate in Healthy Kids New Mexico. This expansion will include Ohkay Owingeh, Pojoaque, Santo Domingo, Santa Ana, and Taos Pueblos, and will also add To’Hajiilee.

Healthy Kids New Mexico program opportunities include improving regular access to fruit and vegetable snacks, classroom tastings, and offering more salads at mealtime, as well as increased access to physical fitness before, during, and after school. Participating tribal communities will establish gardens or greenhouses, and the program offers gardening training, fruit and vegetable tastings, and cooking education in various communities. This helps improve access to affordable, fresh, and nutritious foods.

Today’s announcement also included a transfer from DOH to the New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) of the Commodity Supplemental Food (CSFP), which works to improve the diets of low-income elderly New Mexicans. HSD has a more centralized warehouse, and can also provide more technical assistance to increase program efficiency.

These changes are effective Oct. 1.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Chris Sanchez at 505-819-1398 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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La Gobernadora Susana Martinez Expande los Esfuerzos para Ayudar a Más Niños a Comer Saludable, Mantenerse en Forma