Colorado Legacy Foundation Participates in National Discussion on Future of Food in Schools
DENVER, CO — Today the President and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF), Dr. Helayne Jones, participated as a panelist for the Washington Post’s “Future of Food” Series. Dr. Jones spoke during a session about the necessity of bringing healthy, affordable food to America’s kids, and highlighted the challenges faced by Colorado’s rural school districts.
“The link between health and academic achievement is gaining national attention,” said Dr. Jones. “Colorado’s rural school districts, like many throughout the nation, face unique challenges with respect to providing healthy food options to their students. It is an honor to showcase the impressive strides being made in these districts to tackle these challenges and improve academic achievement by helping students lead healthy, active lives.”
Dr. Jones discussed the special challenges of Colorado’s rural school districts, many of which lack access to the resources and capacity necessary to sustain healthy food programs in their schools. She lauded the innovative work of many of these districts to surmount these obstacles, citing successful efforts to increase daily access to fruits and vegetables, decreased use of processed foods, and healthier and more widespread breakfast and lunch programs. Dr. Jones also highlighted the dedication of rural education leaders to bring healthy food to their students, praising the superintendent in Campo School District in Colorado’s far southeast corner.
“Campo School District is located in a ‘food desert,’ meaning that it faces extreme challenges accessing healthy food,” commented Dr. Jones. “The closest major grocery store to the district is three hours away. In spite of this, the district superintendent regularly travels to a food market an hour away so that his students have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the school salad bar.”
Panelists included other local health and education leaders such as Anne Warhover, President and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation; Robert Hammond, Commissioner of Education; and Kris Kraft, a local dairy owner and board member of the Western Dairy Association. The full panel discussion can be accessed by clicking here.