The Park Record editorial, July 27-29, 2011 |

The Park Record editorial, July 27-29, 2011

Christian Center is in step with first lady's favorite initiative

Politics aside, first lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Park City on Tuesday inspired an important nonpartisan celebration at the Christian Center of Park City.

Using Mrs. Obama’s main initiative, LET’S MOVE, as a catalyst, the Center unveiled a new food-pantry truck that will help collect healthy, nutritious food and deliver it to people in need throughout Summit and Wasatch counties.

Board members, staff and volunteers applauded as the tarp was removed from a spanking new Ford 350 4×4 pickup truck donated by Zion’s Bank and Larry H. Miller.

The vehicle is a far cry from the compact-size private vehicles that volunteers have been using for the last 11 years to pick up food from local grocery stores. But those volunteers will still be needed to help expand the Christian Center’s reach throughout the region.

At the event, Christian Center founder Susan Swartz emphasized that the pantry is focused not only on feeding the hungry, but also ensuring that the food they provide to thousands of people in the area is wholesome and nutritious.

In addition to presenting the new pantry truck, the Christian Center also announced plans to expand its school backpack program and a new effort to deliver fresh produce to the Goshute Reservation in Utah’s West Desert.

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The expanded efforts have been made possible in large part by many generous individuals, groups and businesses right here in Park City and have helped to make the center’s food pantry vital to the survival of many who live and work in the community.

Unfortunately, healthy food and exercise are among the first luxuries to fall by the wayside when a family is battling poverty. And growing children are especially vulnerable to diseases like diabetes and the physical limitations that come with poor nutrition.

To their credit, Park City and Summit County residents recognize that despite the area’s reputation as a wealthy resort town, many people are struggling behind the scenes to keep their families healthy.

The Christian Center and all of the people who support it have good reason to celebrate. They are role models for the first lady’s national initiative to keep kids healthy.