Battle Creek is proud to have Operation Fit in our community

BCVision Team, Community Member

Photo of Bronson Battle Creek team hosting a cooking demo for students and families As part of Operation Fit, Bronson Battle Creek's nutrition team hosts cooking demos for students and families. Programs help children and parents learn to prepare healthy, budget-friendly snacks and meals.

This past June, a delegation from Battle Creek traveled to Denver to compete in the All-America City competition. The initiatives that are shaping our community impressed the judges so much that Battle Creek won the title of All-America City.

This year’s awards focused on health and wellness in the community, so the delegation presented three of our city’s initiatives: the School Behavioral Health Program, the Crisis Intervention Team, and Operation Fit.

The Operation Fit program is a collaboration between Bronson Battle Creek, the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the Regional Health Alliance, and the Battle Creek YMCA. The program is dedicated to increasing physical activity, improving nutrition and lunch environments, and cultivating focused support systems for the people in our community. They accomplish this goal through a number of different methods, such as brain breaks, structured activities on playgrounds, and a Mileage Club. The Mileage Club is a group of school-aged children who challenge themselves to run on a regular basis. Through this program, over 6,000 children have run over 45,000 miles, which is an average of 7 miles per student.

In addition to these efforts, Operation Fit helps provide education about and access to nutritional food options. Through partnerships in the community, they have donated nearly 34,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with almost 2,500 cases of healthy snacks to students and their families. Because of its efforts, Operation Fit was nominated for the Governor’s Fitness Award. It earned the Elite Level Best and Brightest in Wellness Award in the Philanthropic category, and it’s continuing to expand.

Right now, the program is focusing on reaching more school districts, and on providing more opportunities for children. The initiative is adding garden towers to schools so that children can grow their own food and appreciate nutrition and working toward a partnership with the Food Corps to further the program’s impact.

Battle Creek is proud to have Operation Fit in our community, and we hope that the program will continue to spread nutritional awareness and healthy behavior for years to come.