AIT and Formosa Cancer Foundation Join Forces to Promote Better Health for Taiwan's Youth
AIT's Agricultural Trade Office, the Formosa Cancer Foundation (FCF), and several U.S. fruit and vegetable producer associations will hold a kick-off press conference on Thursday, April 2nd for the 2009 "Vegetable and Fruit Rainbow 5-7-9 Campaign." Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-Pyng, who is also Chairman of the FCF, and AIT Director Stephen M. Young will deliver opening remarks.
This program, originally known as "5-a-day," focuses on elementary school children in Taiwan and is designed to promote nutrition by increasing overall market demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. AIT's Agricultural Trade Office in Taipei and the Washington Apple Commission initially started providing funding support for FCF's "5-a-day" program in 2007. The program highlights the importance of daily servings of fruit and vegetables for overall health and cancer prevention: five servings for children, seven for adult women, and nine daily servings for adult men. After the great success of the first year, the program was extended in 2008 and now begins its third year in 2009.
Funding of over US$50,000 is provided by the Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Broad-based Initiative Program and is supported by twelve U.S. producer associations: the California Agricultural Export Council, Washington Apple Commission, California Almond Board, California Tree Fruit Agreement, California Cherry Advisory Board, California Table Grape Commission, USA Apples, Sunkist Growers, Pear Bureau Northwest, the North American Blueberry Council, the California Raisin Marketing Board, Northwest Cherry Growers Association. The Montana Asia Pacific Trade Office in Taipei is also supporting this endeavor.
In its first year, the program's in-school nutrition seminars reached over 78,000 students and their families. In the following year, that number grew to 120,000. As it grows, the "5-7-9" program continues to assist FCF in funding new research to improve the nutritional profile of lunches currently prepared for students in elementary schools around Taiwan. It also provides funds for FCF to train dieticians and to develop interactive educational materials aimed at encouraging schoolchildren and their families to improve their eating habits.
This year once again, the program features nutrition "checkbooks" for children with healthy homework assignments such as, "Today I will eat two different-colored vegetables," and, "Today before I leave for school, I will remind my family about the ‘5-7-9' program." In addition, the checkbooks contain many coupons for discounts on selected fruits and vegetables that may be redeemed at 200 participating Wellcome stores throughout the island.
Lucky-draw prizes, including two United Airlines tickets to the United States and a trip to the State of Montana, will be given away in this year's program. In addition, children and their parents will have access to an interactive website featuring ongoing surveys regarding the consumption of fruits and vegetables among youth in Taiwan.
The kick-off press conference is scheduled from 11:00-11:40 AM on April 2, 2009, at the National Taiwan University Alumni Club at 2-1 Chi-Nan Road, Section 1, Taipei. All members of the media are invited to the event.
For more information about the press conference and the "5-7-9" program, please contact Jewel Huang of AIT Public Affairs Section, Tel: 2162-2035, E-mail: HuangJTY@state.gov, or Megon Ma of FCF, Tel：8787-9907 ext.203, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.