Highway to Health Event in NYC Draws Crowds and They “Embrace Health”
You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful spring day. The sun was shining down on the South Street Seaport, the site of this year’s Highway to Health (H2HNYC) event in New York City. Music blasted from the entrance to the health fair, thanks to the New York Sports Club “UXF” fitness challenge. The festival turnout was huge, and there was something for every age group – lessons by HealthCorps students about healthier eating, composting, how to embrace more positive self-messaging (face painting and button making), making better beverage choices, learning about simple ways to exercise with “just your body” by the FitLab. There were special fitness opportunities, so you could try Zumba, or learn yoga with classes by Yoga Across America. If you wanted to try meditation, Sahaja Meditation had ongoing sessions, and attendees could access information on mental healing by Maha Rose Center. Needed a free health screening? New York University Dental School, the New York Organ Donor Network, Madison Avenue Chiropractic, and Balanced Health Acupuncture were all there providing services.
There were delicious foods to taste, including baked goods by Toufayan Bakeries, Beanitos baked chips, Better Body Foods (powdered peanut butter!!), The Better Bean baked chickpeas, and Fruit Bliss mini dried fig packs to name just a few. If you wanted to learn more about the Affordable Care Act or women’s health choices there were experts ready to answer your questions. Special booths hosted by Sanofi and Veria Living offered adult health information, along with some special giveaways.
On the main stage musical guests included The Deep End, Monarchy, Suite 27, Joel Allete Band and incredible performances by HealthCorps students in the Music for a Better America Teen Talent Competition sponsored by HealthPlus Amerigroup.
The Teen Battle Chef competition was a huge hit, with dishes like Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Dumplings and Shrimp and Grits with Bacon – both dishes featuring robust taste, healthy ingredients and a heavy dose of yummy seasonings! The judges scored all the competing recipes based on taste, nutrition profile, use of healthy ingredients, and presentation. The high school students who presented the dishes shared their personal experiences in the kitchen, their newly gained nutrition knowledge, and their passion for this particular course offered by the HealthCorps program. Learning about food through hands-on experiences in school kitchens has been credited with boosting participating students’ understanding of how food affects their physical health and their brain health. The students also typically “pay it forward,” by exposing their family members to these healthy food lessons. On this sunny spring day, you could see them all bursting with pride as they showcased their unique recipes.
The festival wrapped up with an awards ceremony and the Monarchy Band final performance on the Main Stage. Good fun and good food was had by all!!
A special thanks to the Highway to Health event sponsors, New York Sports Clubs, Sanofi and HealthPlus Amerigroup, to our partners at the event, Veria Living, Monarchy Band, Toufayan Bakeries, Fruit Bliss, Better Body Foods and Hip Hop Public Health. Of course, events like this Highway to Health festival could not happen without the ongoing support of our sponsors. Our National sponsors are the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The California Endowment, and USANA Health Sciences. Our Regional and Community Sponsors are 4Point4 Foundation, California Walnut Board, Chickasaw Nation, Continental Resources, the Dalio Foundation, Desert Healthcare District, Omron Healthcare, Inc. and Vemma Nutrition. Additional support provided by our School sponsors Duty Free Americas, the Tibor and Sheila Hollo Foundation, Power Crunch, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, and the Christy & John Mack Foundation.