Today’s Friday Feature is Lita Chatham! Lita is a Nutritionist at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
This is her story:
“As a Registered Dietitian at the Alabama Department of Public Health, expanding access to safe, nutritious foods for everyone, especially children, is a top priority to me. As we know, 1 in 4 children in our state struggles with hunger, meaning 25% of our kids don’t know where their next meal will come from. Meanwhile, over 35% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are considered overweight or obese. To me, this indicates that in addition to the lack of access to foods, there is also a need to improve the quality of the foods (and beverages) that our children have access to.
My position with the Alabama Department of Public Health allows me the opportunity to advocate for the health of Alabamians and to support and facilitate changes through grants and statewide initiatives such as the Alabama State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as statewide task forces such as ECHA and the Alabama Obesity Task Force.
My background includes work in both the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as well as the Alabama Child Nutrition Program (school nutrition), so I have had the opportunity to see and be a part of many of the wonderful things that our state is doing to close the gap between children and healthy meals.
Being a part of ECHA, where people from various organizations from across our state come together to work toward one goal: addressing hunger in our children by increasing their access to nutritious foods, has been an incredible experience. It is this partnership and collaboration that allows ECHA to do such important work in our state and to improve the lives of so many of Alabama’s children. I look forward to continuing to work with ECHA to address child hunger in our state, because no child deserves to worry if they will have enough to eat.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much..” – Helen Keller”