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NHCLC Joins First Lady Michelle Obama in "Let's Move! Faith and Communities Initiative"

NHCLC Joins First Lady Michelle Obama in "Let's Move! Faith and Communities Initiative"

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The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference joined First Lady Michelle Obama in support of the "Let's Move! Faith and Communities Initiative". The Initiative, which focuses on addressing health and wellness issues via engagement in exercise and healthy dieting, includes the engagement of community and faith organizations. Bishop Angel Nunez, Senior NHCLC Vice President joined the First Lady and represented the organization in a national telephone conference call. Formal Statement: On Behalf of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, which represents over 30,000 churches across the United States & Puerto Rico, we hereby commit ourselves to the expansion of our own health project call "Pro-templo" (which means building the temple – In this case our bodies though exercise, nutrition, & the fight against obesity) and embrace “Let’s Move Faith and community by supporting the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Program and committing our churches to full participation. As part of our Healthy Families Campaign, the NHCLC stands committed to engage at least half our congregations by May 1st, 2011 and prayerfully 20,000 congregations by the end of the year. Our goal in the next 20 months is for 30,000 Hispanic Evangelical churches to develop and nurture an exercise/health/wellness ministry. In addition, as a person who grew up in abject poverty, we understand that malnutrition has two faces, especially in the Latino community where 1 out of 4 Hispanic families struggle to put enough food on the table. Consequently we commit to hosting 120 Summer Feeding Programs at our churches focusing on the 120 most prominent Hispanic populated cities. The NHCLC is proud to support and wholeheartedly endorses First Lady Michelle Obama's efforts to raise a healthier generation of kids and encourages all churches to participate in the well-being of our children. We join forces with the First Lady to fight obesity and educate our people in the areas of nutrition and physical fitness. On behalf of our president the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez we thank you for inviting us to be part of this great effort. Muchas Gracias. Following is a letter received by e-mail from Alexia Kelly - Director, HSS Partnership Center: Dear Friends, Monday marked the public launch of an effort begun last year with many of you who are leaders addressing childhood obesity and healthy living in your community. After discussions of ideas and solutions, and commitments to engage this effort, the First Lady launched Let’s Move Faith and Communities! She recognized your commitment to join in the effort to end childhood obesity within a generation. It’s official: Let’s Move Faith and Communities is moving -- and we are excited that you already part of that effort. Thank you for joining the launch and for your help in getting the word out about it! Check out this Let’s Move blog post which describes the call and links to the new Let’s Move Toolkit for faith and community leaders and an online action plan. Please forward this link to your partners and networks -- over 4500 of whom joined the launch! We want to make sure that anyone interested receives this blog report and resource links. Thank you so much! The blog also highlights the commitments of several leaders who joined the call. We are especially excited that with just the very first commitments, groups have committed to walking 2.5 million miles toward our challenge goal of walking 3 million miles in 2011! If you and your community partners decide to join us in this effort, please email us at partnerships@hhs.gov or collaborate@usda.gov to let us know about your goals and ideas for putting Let’s Move! into actionAnd be sure to follow the Let’s Move! and White House Partnerships Blog for updates and stories about these activities. Together, through Let’s Move Faith and Communities, we can move our nation closer to ending childhood obesity within a generation. Best Regards, Alexia Kelley Director, HHS Partnership Center USDA Hosts Webinar Watch Events Across the Country to Feed Hungry Kids This Summer   With one out of every four Latino families struggling to put food on the table, congregations and community-based organizations need all the help they can get in meeting this challenge. That is why USDA hosted Hispanic pastors in cities across the country for webinar watch events on the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) partnered with USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Food and Nutrition Service to hold viewings in California, Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Washington, DC. The webinars are one of many ways USDA is engaging faith-based, Hispanic-serving organizations to participate in USDA’s nutrition assistance programs. Feeding kids through the Summer Food Service Program is particularly important: 21 million children receive free or reduced school lunches during the year, but only 3.4 million kids are fed meals over the summer through USDA summer feeding programs. The San Antonio Food Bank hosts a festive Webinar Watch Party for local faith-based and community organizations to learn about the Summer Food Service Program At USDA Headquarters in Washington, local pastors from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia gathered together to watch the Summer Food Service Program webinar, and program administrators joined the event to answer questions afterward. The audience was comprised of NHCLC members and colleagues, and each participant went home with information and contacts for starting the Summer Food Service Program at their local churches. Several pastors committed to participating in the program, which helps reach the First Lady’s goal to launch new summer feeding sites as part of the Let’s Move! Faith and Communities initiative. As a Let’s Move! partner, NHCLC has committed to hosting 120 new summer feeding sites this summer. In Arizona, Reverend Eve Nunez and Help4Kidz hosted a viewing  for folks in Phoenix looking to help local children get meals for the summer when school lets out. Pastor Jose Elias hosted Floridians outside of Orlando at the Family Christian Center. In Los Angeles, CA, Reverend Jaime Tolle brought pastors and community leaders to La Iglesia en El Camino (The Church on the Way). And in Texas, the San Antonio Food Bank hosted NHCLC Board Secretary, Pastor Eliezer Bonilla, and almost 50 guests to watch the webinar and ask questions afterward. At each webinar viewing, state agency representatives, USDA regional administrators, and/or SFSP program sponsors answered questions, brought information specific to each locale, and helped folks in the room sign up to participate in the SFSP program. More than 160 participants registered for the webinar, and live feeds came in to USDA Headquarters from all over the country during the Watch Party: “People here are interested and engaged. We had fun!” In Washington, pastors mingled afterward to exchange ideas and brainstorm ways to implement the program. One pastor enthusiastically said, “This is a great opportunity. Imagine how many more kids we can help feed, now that we know about SFSP and other programs mentioned.”