Local Food Dinner at the Pool? Splash!

Poster for Veggin' Out at the Pool, Lexington, KY

Poster for Veggin' Out at the Pool, Lexington, KY

The best things happen at pools in summer: exercise looks a lot like water fights, Vitamin D increases without any effort on our part, and good food keeps our good health glowing. At least in Lexington, that last part is true, thanks to the work of an unusual coalition.

Anita Courtney, chairperson of the Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition, wants young people to grow up in a world that surrounds them with good choices about food and activity. Improving food at swimming pools will help develop that world, because, Courtney says "pool concession stands are like kids’ refrigerators and pantries in the summer."

The Tweens Coalition is freshening up pool food in two ways this summer. First, the Coalition works with Lexington (Kentucky) Parks & Recreation to offer a daily Better Bites Menu of fresh food at the city's two largest pools.

Move over, years-old nachos and sugar bomb beverages! How about cool grapes as a mid-morning snack? And a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread for lunch?

Second, the Coalition and Parks & Recreation secured crucial additional sponsors for a one-time, high visibility local foods meal on Friday, July 8, from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Southland Aquatic Center, Lexington's popular mega-pool. On the menu: A Kentucky Proud summer feast of burgers, brats, veggie burgers, side dishes, and dessert. Farmers from Lexington Farmers Market will provide the ingredients, and chefs from the acclaimed Good Foods Market & Café will prepare the meal. The tickets are a reasonable $10 adult/$5 child, and include pool admission after 5:00 PM. For central Kentuckians who can come, here are the full details.

It's a new idea, dinner at the pool. Since only 200 tickets are available for the event, buying tickets now is a good idea. Our community is lucky to have the Tweens Coalition and these fantastic sponsors thinking about our wellbeing, and our children's health. Let's pack the pool on July 8.

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