500 Communities and Counting, Impacting Nearly 80 Million Americans
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) has reached a significant milestone: 500 communities across the country are Let’s Move! communities! Yesterday, mayors, councilmembers, and staff of elected officials gathered at the White House to celebrate their achievements in engaging their local residents in a healthier lifestyle through system-based changes that will enable kids and families to be healthier for generations to come. The program, led by the National League of Cities and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works with local elected officials to help each individual community achieve their goals.
In the morning, local elected officials huddled and discussed challenges and achievements in building a healthy environment. Many cities have achieved significant milestones within the program, and others are early on in their efforts. Fifty-two communities participating in LMCTC received five gold medals, demonstrating stellar efforts in the five program goals, which include helping early care and education providers incorporate best practices for nutrition and physical activity; displaying MyPlate in all municipal or county venues where food is served; expanding access to meal programs before, during and after the school day, and/or over summer months; implementing healthy and sustainable food service guidelines; and increasing opportunities for physical activity Throughout the journey, LMCTC participants have challenged themselves and each other to build strong, healthy communities in a sustainable and lasting way.
After lunch, the energetic and passionate leaders of cities, towns, and counties across the country gathered together for remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama. They also heard from White House officials, including Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition, and Jerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, in addition to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services The First Lady announced that 80 million Americans now reside in a community participating in LMCTC, which is 1 in 4 Americans!
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a "Let's Move!" Cities, Town and Counties event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, Sept. 16, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
The First Lady challenged the communities to double down in their efforts and go further. The legacy of a creating a healthier generation rests with changes made today and changes that will be made into the future. Let’s Move! Cities, Counties, and Towns will continue to play a key role in making individual communities in America a healthier place to live.
"We all need to work together on this issue, because we know that issues like child nutrition, it’s not about politics. This is about giving our children a fair shot in life," the First Lady said. "It’s about ensuring that they have everything they need, everything we can do in our power to help them fulfill their boundless potential."
Several local elected officials shared first-hand their successes and challenges in their individual communities. These included: County Supervisor Linda Langston of Linn County, Iowa; Mayor L. Dennis Michael of Rancho Cucamonga, California; Mayor Emmett Jordan of Greenbelt, Maryland; Councilmember Tameika Issac Devine of Columbia, South Carolina; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.