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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. teamed with the New England Patriots and United Way to hold a “Healthy Kids Summit” on Oct. 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., that drew more than 400 children and adults and featured local community experts and athletes, including New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty (right, with young participants).
The summit is part of Stop & Shop’s ongoing effort to provide parents, caregivers and children with the knowledge and skills necessary for kids to enjoy healthy, fit and balanced lifestyles. Although the eastern Massachusetts region served by Stop & Shop has experienced a 12.4 percent drop in obesity rates among children under 6, statistics from the past five years still show that about 30 percent of children in the state are overweight or obese. Through its summits, Stop & Shop aims to continue the decline in childhood obesity in Massachusetts and across New England.
“As a local grocery chain with roots right here in New England, Stop & Shop’s focus has always been to ensure local children are healthy, happy and informed,” said Julie Menounos, nutritionist for the Stop & Shop New England Division, based in Quincy, Mass. “The information provided at the Healthy Kids Summit will help families make better decisions when it comes to nutrition, exercise and balanced lifestyles.”
The event featured a panel of athletes and health and fitness experts that included McCourty; Menounos, who works from the Chelmsford, Mass.-based Stop & Shop; Caitlin Gibbs, director of association health innovation, Hockomock YMCA; and Dr. Brian Patel, associate chief of the Emergency Care Center (ECC) at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, in Attleboro, Mass.
The summit included a trivia game, high-energy skills and drills sessions run by current New England Patriots players, as well as a mini health fair and refreshments.
The event marked the first time Stop & Shop has collaborated with the New England Patriots as part of the NFL’s “Hometown Huddle,” a partnership with United Way since 1999, which has NFL teams across the country taking part in a variety of hands-on community service projects. Also involved was the “PLAY 60” initiative, which aims to raise awareness of youth health and fitness.
Ahold USA-owned Stop & Shop employs about 63,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.