By Johnny Jackson
Officials with the non-profit 4 Rivers Ministry International, Inc., plan to take a stand in the fight against obesity by urging young people to adhere to a healthy diet, and develop a regimen of physical fitness, to get -- and stay -- in shape.
The Stockbridge-based organization, formerly known as Feed My People, and its food pantry and thrift store, are collaborating with Youth Media Minds America, a Decatur-based, non-profit, multi-media school for youths, to launch the "Stand To Get Fit" campaign.
The campaign will kick off Friday, at 9 a.m., during the 4 Rivers Ministry International's Annual Feed My People Christmas giveaway. The charity plans to give food, clothing and household items to more than 300 pre-selected families. "We recognize that lack of exercise, poor eating habits and scarcity of information is a formula to increase the rate of obesity in our communities," said Rosalind Bishop, programs developer with 4 Rivers Ministry International.
"We stand against this [unhealthy living] by partnering with community organizations to develop programs to provide healthy food, encourage natural exercise and inform the community through media, while empowering our youth who are our future," she added.
"Our intentions are, we want to first service all Henry County elementary schools and all DeKalb County elementary schools," said Bishop.
One of the features of The Stand To Get Fit campaign is the character Lil' Jimmy, a 12-year-old advocate for positivity and fitness in the lives of young people. Officials hope to use the mascot at the schools as a spokesman, and where permitted, actually have him augment elementary school physical education.
Initially, 4 Rivers Ministry International plans to break ground on two community gardens in Henry and DeKalb counties in February, as well as host a walk against obesity in April of next year.
"Feed My People will also partner with schools and youth programs to bring awareness to the seriousness of obesity, and the importance of taking a stand to save our children and our communities," said Bishop.
To learn more, visit 4 Rivers Ministry International's Feed My People web site at www.feedmypeoplega.org.