The Mushroom Council was proud to announce earlier this month their commitment to the Partnership for Healthier America. Kathleen Preis, Marketing Coordinator for the Mushroom Council and this month’s Council Representative, was honored to attend the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC, and share her experience while at the event.
Have you ever walked into a room filled with a diverse group of people, yet you all have one goal in mind? It creates a unique kind of motivating energy and buzz. I had the opportunity to witness this firsthand while attending the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC. The Summit invited health and wellness leaders, child nutrition advocates, policy makers, members of the press, and industry suppliers to attend.
The summit kicked off with a rousing opening presentation calling all present to work together to find an end to childhood obesity. The inspiring speech motivated our table of school districts and fitness leaders to brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas to promote healthy lifestyles. Throughout the summit, the collaborative spirit continued as we had the opportunity to attend educational panels dedicated to initiating progress in providing healthier meals for children both in and out of school. We were able to share the mushroom message with all attendees, and link our goals with virtually every other attendee’s goals, through the potential of pilot programs, culinary demos or as a nutrition resource for existing programs.
The Great American School Lunch Challenge featured all-star chefs Ann Burrell and Jose Garces. The challenge prompted each team to create the most creative, appetizing, and visually appealing school lunch, while also meeting nutritional guidelines. Each team cooked live while all PHA attendees enjoyed samples of their creations in a family-style lunch. The contest highlighted our message that healthy AND delicious school meals are possible with a little creativity… and lots of mushrooms!
After panels, sessions, and ‘get fit’ activities, the closing assembly gave attendees the final spark needed to send everyone home with a feeling of renewed energy in the fight for a healthier America. The keynote presentation featured moving speeches by Mayor Corey Booker (Newark, NJ), Eli Manning of the New York Giants, First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and our very own Mushroom Council chairwoman Fletcher Street.
Fletcher had the whole auditorium talking about the blendability concept, and our unique mushroom humor. I was even lucky enough to shake the first lady’s hand at the conclusion of the presentation. Next time I will make sure to bring a mushroom burger for her to try!
Our experience at PHA further invigorated our mission to educate Americans on mushrooms as a healthy meal alternative.
What event have you recently attended that reaffirmed your mission to promote better health?