HIGH POINT, N.C. — Childhood obesity is a serious health concern. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, a third of the kids in the Triad are overweight.
To combat childhood obesity and unhealthy eating habits, multiple organizations are coming to together to lift up a community outreach program at D-UP, which is a non-profit in High Point dedicated to keeping kids active and teaching families healthy eating habits.
Jakki Davis is the executive director of D-UP. She explained how their Eatery Sprout Education Garden program works.
“If we teach you how to go to the grocery store, you look at the food label,” Davis said. “It’s all about being healthy and thriving in life.”
Behind the D-UP building in High Point, there’s a community garden filled with season vegetables like collards, lettuce and kale. The garden came together thanks to an impressive fundraising effort led by High Point University’s Sigma Nu Fraternity.
“It’s fantastic that we are able to make an impact on the community,” Michael Fragnito, a member of Sigma Nu. “This community garden is going to be fantastic, and it looks beautiful now already.”
To keep the garden growing and in top shape, Sigma Nu raised over $12,000. The fraternity will bring more healthy food by supplying D-UP with canned goods.
“So we are going to keep adding to the garden but also find other ways to bring good food to D-UP because they have been doing a great job distributing it to the community that really needs it,” Fragnito said.
Garet Beane is the development director for the American Heart Association. The organization holds classes at D-UP, teaching families how to cook healthy vegetables that come from the garden.
“It’s important to get in front of those families because it’s not the children that are making the decisions on what to eat. It’s the parents,” Beane said. “We have to get in front of and teach them healthy cooking and healthy living.”
The Eatery Sprout Education Garden program is making a difference.
Donnie Matthews is a parent and has learned a lot about healthy eating.
“Actually, it helped me learn how to cook. If you don’t know how to cook, you can’t eat healthy,” Matthews said.
At LaToya Harrington’s home, when kids find out what they are eating is good and healthy, vegetables might be the only thing they will have on their plate.
“If I put a meal down that has too much fat in it, she will pick out something else,” Harrington said. “So she is really good on her healthy stuff. She loves it.”
Some of the parents that participate in the Eatery Sprout Education Garden now have gardens at their homes.”
D-UP is on Washington Street in High Point.
To learn more about their healthy eating program, call (336) 383-6048.