The Secaucus, NJ, Board of Health is very pleased to participate in the National Food Day celebration this October 24th. We are excited to say that our oldest and youngest residents are participating in one activity or another to promote healthy eating and a positive lifestyle. The community has been planning and working together for months leading up to the culminating celebration on October 24.
Students from Pre-K through High School are competing in creative art, essay, and photography contests in school while our senior citizens will enjoy a night of bingo with an enticing and healthy snack provided by our school district’s Food Service in September. Contest winners from each grade and our senior bingo winners will be invited to attend Food Day on October 24, where there will be certificates of participation presented by our Mayor, Michael Gonnelli. The art work will be displayed throughout the facility for the public to admire and to spark further discussion. We are planning a video montage to loop on several big screen sets on which healthy eating cartoons and specialty chefs offering healthy eating tips and recipes will be displayed.
Our local restaurants and delis are donating a sample of healthy choice meals to serve to all attendees at the event. A commemorative recipe book from our local chefs will be produced and distributed, as well. Youngsters will have age appropriate challenging activities during the event from coloring to healthy eating themed word games. Our pre-schoolers will have a toy kitchen and be asked to select ingredients for a healthy meal from a collection of toy food items, from cookies to vegetables. In another area, we will have health screenings for blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. There will also be guest speakers from Montclair, and our local Hospital with valuable tips on how to stay healthy. Costumed characters are also on hand to spread the word while bringing a smile to all they greet. And to round it all off, we will also be featuring a low-impact cardio workout session for beginners.
Some of you may know that Secaucus, a suburb six miles outside of New York City, has a rich history of pig farms and vegetable gardens. Farmers would pack their wares and follow the cobble stone road into the streets of New York to support their families. As time and progress marches on, the pig farms are all gone since the good old days. But as more technological industry moves in, the history remains rich in the community. So it was very fitting when a juvenile pot-bellied pig was found orphaned in a neighboring town that the community would welcome him and name him Henry, after a prominent resident who once ran for President of the United States.
So, Henry, now our town mascot, has been spreading the word that healthy eating is so important to sustain a healthy life. Henry has been spotted at many of the community events such as the annual Street Fair, Animal Shelter Adoption Day events, Environmental Festival and our popular Farm Day in the Park. Families would stop and see the sign over his pen that reads “Henry eats Real… do you?” The message is causing a stir and inspiring families to inquire more about Food Day, thus raising public awareness! Henry Eats Real… and so does Secaucus!
Judy Kennelly – Secretary to the Secaucus Board of Health. Employed by the town of Secaucus in the capacity of Senior Citizen Recreation and town publicity. Public Information Officer for the Secaucus Office of Emergency Management . Former newspaper reporter, photographer.