Ontario's Healthy kids Community Challenge (The Challenge) is a community-led program where partners from different sectors (e.g. public health, education, recreation and local businesses) work together to implement activities to promote healthy weights for kids. Under the leadership of municipalities, selected communities will receive funding and supports from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to implement local activities based on a specific theme related to healthy eating and/or physical activity. Over the course of this three year initiative, a new theme will be introduced approximately every nine months. Themes selected will address the risk or protective factors that are known to lead to or prevent childhood overweight and obesity (e.g. eat a healthy breakfast).
The Challenge combines a community-led approach with centralized provincial coordination to help communities develop and implement evidence-based policies, programs and environmental supports that encourage healthy weights. While the overarching goal of The Challenge as stated by MOHLT is to "reduce childhood overweight and obesity through community-led planning and action", the focus on is on healthy kids, not just healthy weights and recognizes that healthy kids live in healthy families, schools and communities.
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville has established a community-based Steering Committee comprised of partners from Health, Education, Recreation and Business. The Steering Committee will guide the planning and implementation of The Challenge activities throughout Leeds and Grenville. Informed by community profile data and evidence-based best practices, Leeds and Grenville communities will see policies, programs and supports implemented to engage and support children and families in pursuit of healthy lifestyles.
The Action-Based theme for the first year of The Challenge is "Run. Jump. Play. Every Day." Children, families and communities will be challenged to become more active.
This webpage, local print media and social media will be used to promote the Challenge activities and to engage residents in actively participating. Watch for Healthy Kids Community Challenge activities coming soon to your community!
Our Community Champions are the spokespeople for The Challenge in Leeds Grenville. They are enthusiastic, keen, and connected to our communities.
Name: J. Douglas (Doug) Stuthers
Title: Former Warden
Organization: Unites Counties of Leeds and Grenville
Name: Dr. Paula Stewart, MD, FRCPC
Title: Medical Officer of Health
Organization: Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit