Marion County participating in program to fight child obesity

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FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, produce is displayed for sale at a farmers market in Kalamazoo, Mich. A study released on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 suggests that trimming dietary fat and eating more fruits and vegetables may lower a woman’s risk of dying of breast cancer. (Katie Alaimo/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

MARION, SC (WBTW) The Marion County Coordinating Council is participating in a nationwide challenge to fight child obesity.

Marvin Hemingway, MCCC Chair, said 21.9 percent of Marion County children are obese. To decrease the number, leaders joined the Build Your Health Challenge. It’s an initiative that works to improve health care.

Through the program, the county will create five food banks where children ages two through four can receive fruits and vegetables.

“We have so many people that don’t have the resources to provide for their families, for their children with healthy eating, and we know that healthy eating cost a lot of money,” Hemingway said.

The Marion County Coordinating Council received $250,000 in grants for the program. MUSC Marion is one of several organizations they are partnering with.

“It connects the hospital by screening those children in the pediatric practices,” said Spencer Twigg, MUSC Marion Assistant CEO.

Physicians will prescribe children, who are at risk, with a healthy foods list which they can pick up at one of the local food banks.

According to Hemingway, parents will only have to pay five dollars for a box of fruits and vegetables.

The MCCC is also currently working with the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority to provide transportation to each food bank.

The Build Your Challenge program hasn’t started yet, but Hemingway expects it to be ready in January.

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