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Food Day on the Border

In El Paso, Texas, Food Day 2012 was celebrated on October 20th and was hosted by The City of El Paso Department of Public Health WIC Program and Health Promotions Program. Approximately 820 individuals were in attendance. Many organizations such as El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, City of El Paso Parks and Recreation’s Community Garden, El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, UTEP’s Eta Sigma Gamma, NMSU, Texas AgriLife, La Semilla Food Pantry, Greater El Paso Chef’s Association, and many others came together at Bassett Place Mall to kick off this year’s festivities.

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Through the duration of the event, cooking and gardening demonstrations were displayed to educate the public about eating healthy and growing organic foods, opposed to the processed food system we have now. WIC clients received class credit by attending 3 mini-classes adapted from the Food Day curriculum. The Greater El Paso Chef’s Association created delicious, easy to make snacks such as spring rolls, salad, and jicama “fries” that showed attendees how to include more vegetables in their diet. Physical activity demonstrations including belly dancing, folklorico, zumba, gymnastics and martial art were provided to promote an active lifestyle.

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Door prizes such as cookware and exercise equipment were raffled to all attendees who brought at least 3 cans of food to benefit El Pasoans Fighting Hunger and to raise awareness about food insecurity in our community. Local high schools, El Paso Community College and City of El Paso employees also hosted food drives to help collect over 1000 pounds of food.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health’s Food Day Celebration is part of the department’s Eat Well! El Paso initiative and WIC along with Health Promotions worked collaboratively to ensure success of the event.  The Department is trying to promote healthy eating and physical activity in the community to help benefit the health of our residents.   A resolution was passed by City Council proclaiming October 24, 2012 as Food Day in El Paso.

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