The National League of Cities (NLC) is recognizing Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski for recent completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). 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. LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic policies that improve communities’ access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity through five goal areas.
“We congratulate and commend Allentown for its efforts to improve the health of the city’s children and families,” said NLC President Chris Coleman, mayor of Saint Paul, Minn. “Through the leadership and dedication of local elected officials in cities, towns and counties across the country, we are beginning to see a measurable decrease in obesity rates and a cultural shift towards health.”
Four medals were awarded to Allentown for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food in program Goals II and IV.
A gold medal was awarded because of the city’s achievements in having at least 30% of municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages having implemented a policy for healthy and sustainable food service guidelines aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; plus meeting bronze and silver benchmarks.
The city was also honored with a bronze medal for prominently displaying MyPlate in at least 51% of municipally- or county-owned or operated venues that offer or sell food/beverages and for registering as a MyPlate Community Partner. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to ChooseMyPlate.gov.
The city had previously been awarded eight medals in 2012 for achievement in reaching Goals I and III.
“I am extremely proud to accept these medals on the city’s behalf,” Mayor Ed Pawlowski said. “The city Health Bureau has worked diligently to achieve the benchmarks set forth by Let’s Move! to win these medals. We are working hard to reduce childhood obesity in the city and the information campaign is part of our effort.”
All LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal to which they commit to as part of the initiative. Medals are awarded to local elected officials based on achievements in each of the following five goal areas:
• Goal I: Start Early, Start Smart: Promoting best practices for nutrition, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education settings
• Goal II: My Plate, Your Place: Prominently displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served
• Goal III: Smart Servings for Students: Expanding access to meal programs before, during and after the school day, and/or over summer months.
• Goal IV: Model Food Service: Implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines that are aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
• Goal V: Active Kids at Play: Increasing opportunities for physical activity
NLC is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations, to assist local elected officials who join LMCTC as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded NLC a grant to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including those participating in LMCTC.
More than 450 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC. Each month, NLC recognizes local elected officials who achieve key benchmarks for the five LMCTC goals. Since July 2012, NLC has awarded 2,056 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials across the country for their LMCTC progress.
For more information about LMCTC and Allentown’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.