Tulare County educators and students featured in upcoming ABC30 Children First special

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The Tulare County Office of Education’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program (NEOP) and students from Terra Bella Elementary School and Summit Charter Intermediate Academy will be featured in the latest edition of ‘ABC30. Children firstairs Sunday, March 20.

According to Feeding America, the number of children facing hunger in the United States has increased during the pandemic from 10 million in 2019 to nearly 12 million children in 2020. As March is National Nutrition Month, ABC30 has chose to focus the half-hour special, hosted by news anchors Graciela Moreno and Jason Oliveira, on local programs connecting families to nutritious food and fitness.

NEOP nutritionist Alexandra Rogers was filmed at Terra Bella Elementary School leading a lesson on the crop of the month for students. The segment focuses on Central Valley communities that are “food deserts” – rural areas that do not have nearby grocery stores with fresh fruits and produce. The segment also includes an interview with Veronica Andrade of the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), which partners with NEOP to support nutrition education. With the grant that supports the NEOP program, HHSA recently worked to install a large refrigerated display case at a Terra Bella convenience store to provide local shoppers with fresh produce options.

The special will also include an interview with Jose Luis Espino, a physical education teacher at Summit Charter Intermediate Academy in the Burton School District in Porterville. Espino encourages his students to take their fitness seriously on and off campus. During the school’s remote learning period last year, Espino created daily exercise videos to get students and family members moving via Zoom.

Additionally, physicians at Valley Children’s Hospital will address childhood obesity and dispel myths about what food families actually think is healthy. A local chef will offer tips on how to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables, while the Fresno Metro Ministry will teach parents and kids how to switch up family meals with healthier ingredients.

The latest Children First special, “Family, Food & Fitness,” will air on many streaming apps this week or on the station on Sunday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Children First and to view past episodes, visit www. abc30.com/childrenfirst.

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