The PUP Standard Bearer for the Albert Division, Paul Thompson, in collaboration with the Belize City Council, has started an initiative called Healthy Eats. This initiative aims to provide students in the Albert Division with fruits as snacks as opposed to junk food. Thompson told us why he decided to start this program.
Paul Thompson, Area Representative, People’s United Party: “A recent study that I read indicated that 49% of children in Belize live in some level of poverty. As the aspiring area representative for the Albert Division we wanted to address this need and so we collaborated with the Belize City Council from the Standard Bearer’s Office in the Albert Division and we are having an initiative called “Healthy Eats”. This “Healthy Eats” initiative is an initiative where for the last few months, two weeks out of the month, we provide a combination of apples and bananas, or apples and orange juice to over 600 children in the Albert division; those schools namely the Wesley Lower School, James Garbutt Lower School and Calvary Temple Lower School. We would have hoped that we could do every day of the month to provide these healthy eats for our children but as you know we’re not the government and so the resources we have we try to do with what we have and so according to the principals and what we see with the children it is something that is very welcomed and something that we believe that addresses a need that we have in this country. This may sound like a tired phrase but our children are our more precious resource and we not only have to provide a nourishing education to our children but we literally have to nourish our children, not with just fried chicken, and biscuits and ideal and all of that but we want to provide healthy living so that’s why we selected and chose bananas and apples and orange juice. We wanted to show that this is what we are about, about not necessarily thinking about when someone has diabetes, when they are 40 years old and over or high blood pressure, we believe that we should address health issues when we are young. If we teach children that this is the way to eat and this is what we should nourish ourselves with I believe that we will have a more productive society and this is an initiative that’s a collaborative effort. The City Council is very instrumental in having this program as well and particular Councilor Goodin and the Department that deals with programs. There is a gentleman by the name of Devin Daly that has been very helpful to make this happen and so I just wanted to give credit to the Belize City Council as well, we have a few businessmen in our division who provide assistance as well as well as CPBL.”
The program started back in October, and Thompson hopes to continue it through next year.