Building a Healthier Future Summit 2017
One of PHA’s signature events - the Building a Healthier Future Summit - convenes a widely diverse group of stakeholders each year to work toward the shared goal of helping every child in America grow up at a healthy weight. In 2017, we assembled 700 leaders from corporations, nonprofit organizations, academia, government and the public health community to share best practices and inspire innovative solutions for making the healthy choice the easy choice for families.
PHA’s power comes from transforming the marketplace, and this was as evident as ever at last year’s Summit, where nearly 30 new commitments were announced to greatly expand healthier food choices for consumers, particularly those in food insecure communities; create healthier living spaces in affordable housing projects; provide greater opportunities for indoor and outdoor play, including gardening programs, for children in early learning and childcare centers; and increase the number of sporting programs available to at-risk youth. The ever-expanding list of PHA partners grew to include organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, California Department of Public Health, Capital Area Food Bank, Colorado Department of Human Services and Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, among others.
Also announced at the Summit was PHA’s first-ever retail association partner, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), which reaches more than 154,000 convenience stores across the country. NACS will provide resources, tools and support to convenience stores and their distributors, encouraging them to stock and promote healthier meals and snack choices to people on the go.
The 2017 Summit included inspiring messages from a wide range of speakers. Former First Lady Michelle Obama, PHA’s Honorary Chair, returned to the stage, along with former President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation, who announced a new business fund supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to explore collaborations between PHA and the Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Mrs. Obama was joined by former White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass, who previously served as Executive Director of Let’s Move! More recently, Kass founded TROVE, an organization that collaborates with corporations to help transform health, climate and the planet through food.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, spoke to participants about the adverse health effects of childhood obesity, while Eric Cooper, President and CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank, discussed the state of national food insecurity.