Community partner success story: LACCA & HEAD START – Making the healthy choice, the easy choice for their students & clients
Courtesy Activate Allen County
Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs (LACCA) has been serving the needs of our community since it was founded in 1993. In the past 3 years, LACCA has made meaningful changes to help with their continued support of healthy choices and behaviors for everyone that they work with here in Lima & Allen County. They have worked with Lima Family YMCA’s Small Communities Transformation Grant and the Lima YMCA’s Partnership to Improve Community Health Grant to make the following changes:
- In 2013, LACCA unveiled their own breastfeeding room for employees and visitors. This room is a model for every workplace or community venue to understand the simplicity of dedicating space for working breastfeeding mothers. What makes this space so supportive is that it offers privacy and comfortable seating for mothers while working there or visiting.
- In 2013, LACCA Head Start’s Wellness Team began revamping the Head Start Menu. The goal was to reduce the amount of sugar being served, increase whole grain offerings and increase the amount of protein served. A team of LACCA/Head Start employees and SCTG & PICH grant employees assessed the current menu and worked with teachers and parents to develop a new menu. The menu also was adapted to a 5-week rotating menu, to allow for more consistent meal patterns for all students. Head Start has continued to improve their menu in in 2014 and 2015. In addition, Head Start teachers also role model healthy behaviors at lunch and snack time further promoting good nutrition.
Physical Activity & Screen Time Policy Improvement
- In 2015, LACCA Head Start assessed, reviewed and updated Policy language to ensure that every student is able to get their recommended daily physical activity and to limit screen-time during their school day. These policy changes ensure that the children in all of LACCA’s Head Start programs will be active and limited time well into the future.
LACCA’s CEO Jackie Fox stated, “The partnership between Activate Allen County and LACCA has helped us to recognize the importance and focus on health and nutrition needs of our Head Start children, the families and clients we serve. We now understand that we have to promote wellness, such as breastfeeding and healthy meals, but also imbed actions into our programs, our staff expectations and provide opportunities for all of us to improve our health.”
Thank you Lima Allen Council on Community Affairs for being a community success story!