100% of the Gobble Gobble Four Miler Charity Race Goes to These Fine Charities
The mission of St. Matthew’s House (SMH) is to change lives in a spiritual environment that is both compassionate and disciplined, as well as providing housing for the homeless and food for the needy. A 501(c)(3) non-profit entity, SMH, along with Immokalee Friendship House, has been serving the homeless, hungry and hopeless in Collier County since 1987. SMH is the only emergency housing and recovery program in the county, offering 170 beds for men, women, and families. Serving meals at Justin’s Place, SMH is also the only feeding ministry in Naples, as well as operating three thrift stores, two food pantries, a full service catering company, Justin’s Place substance abuse recovery program, Wolfe Apartments transitional affordable housing, and a direct assistance program to individuals and families in need.
Participants in the Whole Foods Market Kids on the Go program will run a total of 13.1 or 26.2 miles, the equivalent of a half or full marathon respectively, over the course of a 6-12 week period. Health champions at the respective schools will monitor children as they run increments of the target distance. Children will run on school property either before or after formal school hours. Health champions log the children’s progress and those kids who achieve the 26.2 mile goal can participate in a final celebratory mile run at the local feeder high school.
The Whole Foods Market Kids on the Go program was developed to help children fulfill the 1 hour physical activity portion of the NCH Safe & Healthy Children’s Coalition 95210 Let’s Go! campaign. 95210 provides an easy way to remember how to lead a healthier lifestyle where 9 represents the number hours of sleep a child should get each day, 5 signifies the number of servings of fresh fruits and veggies one should consume each day; 2 is the maximum amount of screen time – TV/ video games – a child should view each day; 1 hour of physical activity as mentioned and the 0 reminds children to avoid all sugary beverages and tobacco products.
The Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County is a consortium of over 40 businesses and service agencies who share a common desire to have a positive impact on the major issues adversely impacting the safety and well-being of Collier County youth. One of the major issues identified by the Coalition was the alarming rate of childhood obesity plaguing area schools. In 2011-2012, 11 public elementary & middle schools in Collier had obesity rates exceeding 30% of the children screened. Included among these 11 at risk schools were the three public elementary schools from the Golden Gate area (Golden Gate, Golden Terrace and Mike Davis). Each of these schools had easily identifiable administrators/ teachers (better known as “health champions”) which allowed the Coalition to pilot the Whole Foods Market Kids on the Go program in these locations.
Due to the success of the program, the Coalition plans to “package” Whole Foods Market Kids on the Go and promote it’s expansion in other areas of the County where childhood obesity rates are highest.