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As Christina Bodison navigated a demanding course load at Howard University, the former biology major actively searched for ways to be of service to others. First, she mentored high school students during an alternative spring break program in Detroit. Then, she researched HIV, AIDS, and the socioeconomic factors that bar access to health care. All of this compelled Christina to join the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the fight against poverty.

Earlier this week, Philadelphia kicked off their Let's Read. Let's Move. Philadelphia initiative. Leading the way is Chief Service Officer, Catherine Wolfgang - Philly is one of 10 Cities of Service with a Chief Service Officer. The Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies have given grants to ten cities whose mayors have committed to increase the amount and impact of service in their communities.

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move, is happy to be working with Meals on Wheels in an effort to ensure access to healthy and affordable food for all Americans, young and old.

Childhood obesity is a serious and growing epidemic. It cuts across all categories of race, ethnicity, family income and locale. For the first time in our history, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents. That is why the Corporation for National and Community Service has joined forces with the Department of Health and Human Services, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the First Lady’s Let’s Move. initiative to address this important issue facing America’s future as part of United We Serve’s summer initiative, Let’s Read. Let’s Move.

A key component of the United We Serve:Let's Read. Let's Move initiative is using service to increase access to healthy and affordable food for youth. This summer, farmers, gardeners, market managers, and volunteers can expand their impact by connecting with United We Serve and utilizing the Let's Glean! Toolkit.

It is always exciting to see what happens when a community comes together to develop solutions to its most pressing issues. Led by Rev. Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D., Pastor and CEO of St. Andrew AME Church Enterprise, more than 22 South Memphis organizations, business and religious institutions worked together over 18 months to plan how to revitalize their neighborhood - and today, we see the first fruits of that labor (literally) with the opening of the South Memphis Farmers Market.

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. is thrilled to partner with Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities USA is an organization that provides assistance to more than 8.5 million people annually who are in need - they explore all avenues to secure resources and supports to assist families in meeting their basic needs and moving beyond poverty.

Two years ago two residents of Shelton, Washington donated a large parcel of their property to the city. They wanted it to be called Catalyst Park in hopes that it would someday provide a place for the neighborhood to gather, play, and grow together. This year our local Food Bank Garden, which was housed at the County Fair Grounds, was eliminated due to the county’s budget issues. Our Shelton 4-Hers, together with Washington State University Master Gardeners, have partnered with our local Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Optimists, and the Food Bank to re-create the Food Bank Garden into the Catalyst Garden.

Hunger doesn’t take a break in the summer. The U. S. Department of Agriculture and Let's Read. Let's Move. will encourage America’s children to plant community gardens through the People’s Garden Initiative, and use volunteers to connect children with healthy foods and meals as part of the Summer Food Service Program. Toolkits provide individuals and organizations guidance on building community gardens and ways to volunteer to deliver meals to youth.

Eating Healthy -East Chicago" was developed specifically by Catholic Charities for families in East Chicago, Indiana, with young children who depend on food pantries for a regular portion of their diet. For these families there is often a problem with using food pantry food nutritiously. Some individuals have little knowledge of nutrition; others are unfamiliar with correct food preparation, or they don't have equipment with which to prepare nutritious meals. This program was developed after many clients of the Catholic Charities' Food Pantry in East Chicago expressed an interest in learning the basics of nutrition in order to provide healthy, well-balanced meals for their children.


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