Hundreds Of Boys & Girls Club Kids Rally With Olympian Gail Devers To Eat Their Fruit & Vegetables At "Fruit & Veggie Fest" In San Francisco

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Hundreds of kids are sending a powerful message to their parents and peers at San Francisco's Treasure Island today; they are saying “Give me my fruits and veggies!” June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month: to celebrate, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is hosting the first ever Fruit & Veggie Fest to show kids that healthy food options can be tasty, easy, and fun.

At the Fruit & Veggie Fest, more than 200 youth from Boys & Girls Clubs around the San Francisco area will meet three-time Olympic champion and gold medalist Gail Devers while sampling and judging kid-friendly fruit and vegetable dishes prepared by some of San Francisco’s most popular food trucks, including Liba Falafel, Doc’s of the Bay, Little Green Cyclo, and Tres Truck. Local kids will also participate in the Veggie Zone, an interactive area where they can create their own healthy snacks from farm-fresh ingredients; squeeze tomatoes and mix vegetables to create the most flavorful salsa; and compete in a veggie-themed obstacle course.

The Fruit & Veggie Fest is part of BGCA's Triple Play program, which has engaged kids nationwide for almost a decade to reinforce healthy lifestyles through three focus areas: mind (healthy eating), body (physical activity) and soul (healthy relationships). The Triple Play program is made possible by support from The Coca-Cola Company and the WellPoint Foundation.

“Finding new ways to help kids learn about eating healthy and the variety of tasty fruits and vegetables available is essential for promoting healthy lifestyles,” said Gail Devers, Olympian and special host for the Fruit & Veggie Fest. “I am extremely excited to be here today to taste flavorful foods, teach kids the value of eating right, and demonstrate how positive food choices can benefit their health.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports obesity rates in children and teens have nearly tripled since the early 1980s, and about one-third of adults are considered obese today.  Through Triple Play, BGCA, the WellPoint Foundation, and The Coca-Cola Company are working together to help kids and families learn about active lifestyles and good nutrition to improve their health and avoid lifelong health issues. 

“It is challenging for kids to make healthy decisions if their environments do not offer or celebrate healthy foods and choices. With more than three out of ten kids categorized as overweight or obese, it is critical that we educate and provide the tools necessary for youth to make the right choices,” said Wayne B. Moss, senior director, Healthy Lifestyles, BGCA. “Kids participating in this first Fruit & Veggie Fest will get elbow-deep in flavorful bell peppers and pineapple in the Veggie Zone, and have an amazing time while eating their fruits & veggies in America's ‘culinary capital’!”

“Making fruit and vegetable choices fun and simple for kids is an important part of teaching healthy habits that last a lifetime,” said Erika Von Heiland Strader, director of community marketing for the Coca-Cola Company. “Through Triple Play, we are working together with BGCA to make an active and healthy lifestyle easier for kids, their parents, and clubs around the country.”

“Building healthy habits from an early age can make a tremendous impact on long-term health,” said Lance Chrisman, executive director of the WellPoint Foundation. “This event is all about showing kids that fruits and vegetables are not only healthy, but are also tremendously flavorful and satisfying. In an age where the faster choice is all too often the easier choice, we hope our efforts and events like the Fruit & Veggie Fest will prompt kids learn to look for better options to fuel their daily lives.”

Kids at the Fruit & Veggie Fest will vote for their favorite food truck dish, and the recipe for the winning healthy dish will be shared for all Boys & Girls Clubs to prepare this summer. Thousands of Clubs will be encouraged to cook the winning recipe as part of the Triple Play Healthy Habits programming for kids throughout the country.   

For more information about Triple Play or to view the Fruit & Veggie Fest recipes, visit www.bgca.org/tripleplay.