The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company partnered with the New England Patriots and United Way to host a “Healthy Kids Summit” yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The Patriots involvement is part of the NFL and United Way’s league-wide Hometown Huddle program and PLAY 60 initiative, bringing awareness to youth health and fitness. The summit drew more than 400 children and adults and featured local community experts and athletes including New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, Stop & Shop’s in-store Nutritionist Julie Menounos, MS, RD, LDN and Caitlin Gibbs, Director of Association Health Innovation, Hockomock YMCA. The summit aimed to equip parents, caregivers and children with the knowledge and skills necessary for kids to lead healthy, fit and balanced lifestyles.
“As a local grocery chain with roots right here in New England, Stop & Shop’s focus has always been to ensure local children are healthy, happy and informed,” said Julie Menounos, nutritionist for Stop & Shop New England Division. “The information provided at the ‘Healthy Kids Summit’ will help families make better decisions when it comes to nutrition, exercise and balanced lifestyles. We’re grateful for our dedicated and involved panelists and partners who help make these summits fun, inspirational and educational.”
The Eastern Massachusetts region, where Stop & Shop got its start nearly 100 years ago, was recently praised for its efforts in fighting childhood obesity, showing a 12.4 percent drop in obesity rates among children under age six, however, statistics from the past five years still show about 30 percent of children in the state are overweight or obese. Through its “Healthy Kids Summits,” Stop & Shop aims to further educate adults and children alike on how to make healthy choices to continue the decline in childhood obesity in Massachusetts and across New England.
The “Healthy Kids Summit” included a trivia game that challenged audience members to show their knowledge on nutrition, exercise and a balanced lifestyle. The panel was comprised of athletes and health and fitness experts. The panel included:
- Devin McCourty, New England Patriots Defensive Back
- Julie Menounos, MS, RD, LD-N, in-store nutritionist at the Stop & Shop Chelmsford, Mass. store
- Caitlin Gibbs, Director of Association Health Innovation, Hockomock YMCA
- Dr. Brian Patel, Associate Chief of the Emergency Care Center (ECC) at Sturdy Memorial Hospital
The trivia was followed by high-energy skills and drills sessions, run by a dozen current New England Patriots players. The event also featured a mini health fair and light refreshments.
For the first time, Stop & Shop is working alongside the New England Patriots as part of the NFL’s Hometown Huddle, a partnership between United Way and NFL since 1999, with NFL teams across the country participating in a variety of hands-on community service projects. As part of the partnership, Patriots Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater is recruiting volunteers for United Way to read, tutor and mentor to young people in the region as the Patriots’ representative of Team NFL/United Way.
“I had a great time running around today with the kids at the Healthy Kids Summit,” said New England Patriots Defensive Back Devin McCourty. “I really enjoy being out here as a role model, showing kids what I do to stay active and healthy.”