Yuma Steps Up to the Plate

Greeted at the front entrance by student council members, Jackie and Kyla (pictured), more than 100 guests of Gary Knox Elementary in Yuma, AZ were treated to a celebration of “Power Play’tes.”

Power Play’tes, a play off the USDA choose MyPlate.gov and created by Kristan Sheppeard and Susan Sternitzke of Lime Light Creative Group, will be used in every school in Yuma to encourage children to eat more fruits and veggies.

All of Yuma stepped up to the plate to make this happen, from administrators to food managers ... teachers to students.  In fact, Nathan Reichman, a Yuma 9th grader, is the artist behind “Crop of the Week,” with Cilantro.

Western Growers board member, Vic Smith, a strong supporter of the program, addressed the crowd. “I believe in what in what we, as growers, do. It is important to focus on the ‘how.’  How can we encourage children to eat more fruits and veggies?”

Recent studies cite that half of American’s children are overweight; a third are obese.  “I have a bit of an ego,” Mr. Smith said. “I want the solution to our nation’s health problem to come from Yuma.”

Ronna Bach, Director of Food and Nutrition for USDA, said, “Yuma is a lucky community.”  She shared how wonderful it had been to spend time in Yuma and see all the people who rallied behind this important initiative. 

Vic Smith announced that Gary Knox  Elementary is the winner of a Western Growers Foundation school garden grant.  “A taste of things to come.   Gary Knox is starting an edible school garden.  This is an important component to teach children where their food comes from and the joy of planting and eating fresh fruits and veggies.”

For more information on Power Play’tes, click here.