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keep it fit chicago | SALVATION ARMY

KEEP IT FIT CHICAGO

the salvation army puts clients on a road to healthy lifestyles

In many poor Chicago neighborhoods, it is easier and cheaper for kids to get potato chips and soda at the corner Mom and Pop store on their way to school than to find orange juice. Many single or working parents, often lacking resources, have no easy access to grocery stores stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables readily available in other parts of the city.

“Food deserts” is the polite term, but some areas of Chicago are nutritionally starving. It is a problem often fostering a familial pattern of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health issues, because food choices are not available and knowledge about healthy eating is lacking. For example, many families simply do not realize the negative impact of too much sugar on their children’s or their own health.

In many Chicago families, obesity has reached crisis proportions. Part of the problem is access to healthy food

and knowledge to change decades of bad habits. Recognizing this problem, The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division decided to do something about it through an innovative health and fitness program – “Keep It Fit Chicago (KIFC).”

“WHILE THE SALVATION ARMY IS KNOWN FOR HELPING THE NEEDY, THIS PROGRAM IS OPEN

TO EVERYONE ... ”

rosalind goldman, creator of the keep it fit

chicago concept and group director for marketing and communications for the metropolitan division.

enough to give families in need groceries – as Salvation Army Corps Community Centers do on a regular basis – but also help them with additional education and resources.

Now in its second year, The Salvation Army and Rush University Medical Center again are partnering to provide the nutrition, diet, and exercise program to about 200 people, starting in February. Rush doctors and medical students will work with program participants on healthy eating and Army staff will lead physical exercises, encouraging exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, five times a week.

This certainly fits the mission of The Salvation Army to serve its communities, according to Lt. Col. David E. Grindle, head of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. With an overwhelming preponderance of health issues caused by poor nutrition, he said, it is not

Leslie Halpern, a 2nd year medical student, takes the resting heart rate of a participant of the Keep Fit Chicago program.

While the Salvation Army is known for helping the needy, this program is open to everyone, according to Rosalind Goldman, creator of the Keep It Fit Chicago concept and Group Director for Marketing and Communications for the Metropolitan Division.

“We do not want to make this about low income,” she said, “but we

Vivian Leung, a 1st year medical student, takes the blood pressure of a Keep Fit Chicago program participant.

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