Special to TamaquaArea.com / Pictured at the White House are Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary of Health, with Micah Gursky, Tamaqua Borough Council President.
Special to TamaquaArea.com / Pictured at the White House are Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary of Health, with Micah Gursky, Tamaqua Borough Council President.

PRESS RELEASE – The National League of Cities (NLC) recognized Tamaqua Borough Council last month 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 to ensure that kids can grow up healthy. LMCTC works closely with local elected officials nationwide to adopt policies that improve access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity for their constituents across five goal areas.

“We congratulate Tamaqua for your dedication to building a healthier community for children and families,” said NLC President Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. “Through the tireless leadership and action of local elected officials in cities, towns and counties across the country, we hope to see continued progress in reversing America’s epidemic of childhood obesity.”

Five medals were awarded to Tamaqua for action taken to improve access to healthy affordable food and increase opportunities for physical activity. These medals were awarded because of Tamaqua’s achievements in promoting healthy activities and policies in Tamaqua. This recognition reflects the hard work of the Tamaqua YMCA and Child Development (Head Start), the South Ward Playground Association, our partners at St. Luke’s University Health Network, the Tamaqua Safety Initiative, the Tamaqua Community Art Center and Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

“We can’t force anyone to be healthy, but Tamaqua can be a community that supports and promotes health,” said Micah Gursky, Tamaqua Council President. “Our early childhood

programs promote health, our summer lunch program helps children stay healthy, Tamaqua has great parks and recreational programs and we even display the ‘MyPlate’ poster in our employee kitchenette!” He concluded, “Tamaqua may be a small town, but we’re a small town that values health — we have great, fresh local produce, a farmer’s market, vegetable stands and lots of outdoor and recreational activities for people of all ages.”

All LMCTC sites have the opportunity to earn up to five gold medals, one for each actionable goal they commit to as part of the initiative. Medals are awarded to local elected officials based on their 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 490 cities, towns and counties are participating in LMCTC, and nearly 80 million Americans are now living in LMCTC communities that are dedicated to helping young people eat healthy foods and be physically active. Each month, NLC recognizes local elected officials who achieve key benchmarks for the five LMCTC goals. Since July 2012, NLC has awarded 2,729 bronze, silver, and gold medals to recognize local elected officials across the country for their LMCTC progress.

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.

For more information about LMCTC and Tamaqua’s accomplishments, visit www.HealthyCommunitiesHealthyFuture.org or http://www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org/nlc-joins-first-lady-michelle-obama-at-the-white-house-to-celebrate-lets-move-cities-towns-and-counties/.

White House YouTube video of the event:

Below photos from Tamaqua Borough Council President Micah Gursky:


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