Food & Wellness: Advocacy
Whether it’s at a child care center, as an entire community, or as a nation, creating a culture of healthy living is essential to our success. CentroNía works with early childhood education centers to create wellness policies to encourage everyone to participate in healthy habits. The CentroNía Food & Wellness team advocates for improved access to healthy foods and nutrition education for early childhood programs when local and national policies are introduced and/or challenged.
CentroNía’s Food & Wellness Department is present in local food politics of Washington DC and, for the past seven years, in Montgomery and Prince George counties in MD. The Food & Wellness Department team testified and participated in many discussions for the approval of the Healthy Tots Act in Washington DC. As recipients of the Healthy Tots Wellness Grant, CentroNia’s Star with the Stars program will allow us to work with 10 centers in DC area to improve best practices in family-style dining and centers’ staff wellness and policies.
CentroNía’s work in food production, nutrition education, and advocacy is an award-winning, national model that CentroNía is eager to share with others when given the opportunity. As such, CentroNía’s Food & Wellness Department has presented in many national and international conferences:
- “Early Care and Education and School Procurement Meeting” (ECESP Meeting), Saint Louis Missouri – April 2018
- National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, ‘Local to ECE’, Washington DC – March 2018
- Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Sede Medellin, Colombia – October 2017
- National Farm to Cafeteria Conference from the National Farm to School Network – April 2016
- International Conference Association for Childhood International, Costa Rica – March 2016
- Universidad Autónoma de Manizales, Colombia – October 2015
In addition to conferences, CentroNía welcomes visitors from all over the country (and even world) to see its Food & Wellness Department in action! To date, CentroNía has hosted the Health Minister of Canada, and the First Ladies’ from Chile and Estonia, as well as many national leaders from USDA and other organizations looking for successful and holistic food & wellness programs in early childhood education.