Children’s Health Foundation provides tools to give kids more nutritious lunches and makes schools safe as genConnect celebrates giving back this November
In 2004, Betsy Fifield founded Children’s Health Foundation in Aspen, CO, to ensure students have the proper nutrition they need to do well in school, and to make sure school is a safe place for kids to learn.
With more than 9 million young people in America ages 6-19 considered obese, the foundation aims to advance preventive and integrative health initiatives that benefit the mind, body, and spirit of children, and to create systemic change in schools and communities to ensure school safety, prevent childhood obesity, and reduce stress-related pathologies in children.
“My grandmother was a big inspiration for establishing Children’s Health Foundation,” explained Betsy. “She grew up in Ixonia, Wisconsin, on a dairy farm. And every day while I was growing up, she would make a delicious homemade pie … her apple pie being my favorite. She taught me a lot about cooking from scratch, hanging out in the kitchen, and putting a heartfelt meal on the table. I never really got the hang of milking a cow, but I discovered the joy and beauty of food through my grandmother’s eyes.”
Children’s Health Foundation works with schools and food experts to provide students with healthy, affordable and delicious school lunches made from “real food.” The foundation is a recognized innovator and champion of children’s health initiatives, most notably for its pioneering Lunch for Life Program. Since its inception, over 75,000 students, mostly in rural Colorado communities, have improved their health, well-being and their future due to the efforts of Children’s Health Foundation.
“I visited schools in the United States and observed how we have neglected the health of our kids by serving them foods in a can,” Betsy said. “It was obvious there was a need to create a new paradigm for feeding our school kids. Children’s Health Foundation was created to serve these students and revamp the entire school food system.”
Betsy’s organization also works to combat bullying in schools. In support of The Colorado Trust’s state-wide Bullying Prevention Initiative, Children’s Health Foundation also implemented the Safe School Ambassadors Program, which trains selected students, in grades 4-12, to intervene with their peers to prevent and stop acts of cruelty and reduce tension. Since 2005, Children’s Health Foundation has successfully created a climate of understanding and compassion among students in schools.
For a related initiative, check out Kate Adamick‘s Cook for America, a culinary program that trains, empowers and inspires school food service personnel to provide healthy cooked-from-scratch school meals for America’s children.
For more Giving Back on genConnect:
- New York Gauchos Takes Kids From the Street to the Court
- Gina Murdock: Her Favorite Environmental, Children’s Causes
- Lisa Kolodny: Movember Supports Prostate Cancer Awareness
- Louse Guido Works With eLife to Improve Lives of Girls, Women
- Sam Wyly’s Favorite Cause: The Salvation Army
Want more genConnect?
- For more daily expert updates, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook.
- To stay on top of Betsy Fifield’s latest posts, as well as the latest contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.
Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.