The City of Rochester is launching its Healthy By Choice program in an effort to make sure the community is getting access to health services and programs. The first step is to partner with local agencies that will help benefit children and families.
A nutritious breakfast, along with some exercise, makes for a healthier lifestyle.
The Genesee Valley Sports Camp is one of several programs in the city where thanks to federal funds, kids get a meal and take part in day-long activities.
Now the city is reaching out to several community health agencies to make sure more families have access to health services and programs.
Former City Councilman Wade Norwood is heading up the Healthy By Choice initiative.
"What can we do to recognize the fact that no child in this community should be going hungry over the course of the summer," Norwood said.
Norwood says by working with several community health agencies, policy changes have been made, and information is getting into the hands of parents in a more timely fashion.
"We believe we are on track towards our goal, which is to within five years, double the participation in the summer meals program."
Another way local resources are helping neighborhoods is by setting up farm markets in Rochester. Last year alone, some 25,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were sold in the inner city.
"A lot of it is an awareness piece. They want to have their kids live healthier," said Adrian Elim.
Elim works with the Healthy Heroes street team from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.
"We've supported the farm stands, and the curbside markets by going out into areas when they're set up and we've actually gone out into neighborhoods to let people know that they're right there."
The city's Rec On The Move truck has been around for about three years. It will be put to use in Sept. throughout city neighborhoods until early Nov., providing kids with nutrition tips, homework help and snacks.
"The staff is great, they're friendly, they encourage the kids. They teach them things about working in teams," said Elim.
Healthy by Choice plans to work closely with health agencies in the community to provide the best opportunities to improve health and housing in city neighborhoods.
"The way this city is going to be healthier is by changing our policies, creating a healthy environment and encouraging our citizens to do what they need to do to be sure that they can be healthy," said Dr. Nancy Bennett, director of Center for Community Health.