The Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition (B-COP Coalition) continues its drive to prioritising children’s health. This time, it has donated 120 healthy hampers, filled with nutritious snacks for a week.
The recent implementation of the national school nutrition policy by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training in April has sparked national attention and debate regarding access to affordable healthy food. B-COP Coalition, a leading advocate for this policy, has partnered with key sponsors to ensure these hampers are available, recognising that the back-to-school period can be both busy and costly for parents and guardians.
Dr Kia Lewis, the outgoing Chairperson of the B-COP Coalition, said: “In light of the new National School Nutrition Policy, the Coalition is very happy to roll out this Healthy Hamper: Back to School Edition, which is both healthy and cost-effective. We are targeting children in our childrens’ homes, at-risk youth, and our children in the Yute Gym of the Heart & Stroke Foundation.”
Dr Lewis further explained the initiative’s purpose, saying: “With this drive we wanted to show parents that it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. We know our schools have at least three water days, so the hampers have at least three bottles of water, an even cheaper way would be to buy a water bottle, you will also see several fruits in the hampers, given schools will be having two fruit days. Also, we have packed snacks as well, these are very reasonably priced and they would be compliant to the Alternative Snack and Beverage list, which shows the list of products on the market, which can be bought and given to our children for school.
“We are excited to launch this initiative and hope it assists Barbadian parents in making healthy choices for their children during school hours.”
This marks the B-COP Coalition’s second hamper drive, with the first taking place in 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic, targeting Barbadians with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) who were more susceptible to the virus.
Several partners and sponsors made this initiative possible, including Signia Globe, Supreme Distributors, Guardian General, and the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Rendevous, where the hamper packing took place.
Marketing Officer of Signia Globe Richelle Lucas, commented: “We got a request and it was absolutely a no brainer for us to join with the Coalition. We know people think it is expensive to eat healthily, so we want to thank the Coalition for using these excellent examples of fruit and water. We are not saying that there are no snacks, yes there is a snack in the hampers but moderation is the key. Additionally, being able to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation and get our children active and getting them active from young, so it sticks with them is important.” We are very happy to partner along with the Coalition and the other sponsors who have jumped on board for this worthy cause.
Meanwhile, Rhiyad Juman of Supreme Distributors said his firm was happy to give back to the community “by providing our 100 per cent natural Juices, our Fan juices and our Crystal Waters in order to provide for those children who may not know about the healthy options in Barbados. We are happy to help those who need the help” .
Expressing gratitude to the sponsors and partners for the initiative, Dr Lewis said: “We encourage corporate Barbados and other service groups to join us in supporting less fortunate children and fellow Barbadians as we collectively work towards a healthier way of life,’ she said. (PR)