Call to Action: National Lunch Walk Challenge on April 24th

Written by: Eric Mathis, Green For All Fellow

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“The U.S. medical system, as currently set up, rewards cardiac surgeons at a much greater rate than it does programs for avoiding weight gain or controlling high blood pressure. About 5% or less of the U.S. budget on health care is spent on prevention, according to Don Wright of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Most of the rest is spent on treatment.”[1]

All of us are committed to building sustainable environments and communities, and that should include promoting good health.” That’s why we’re issuing a challenge for all Green for All Fellows and supporters. Let’s walk our talk. Literally. Simply, I am asking Fellows and the larger Green For All community to follow in the footsteps of two community organizations - Marin City Health and Wellness Center in California and Williamson Health and Wellness Center in West Virginia - that have come together as a part of our National Lunch Walk Challenge:

Here are 6 easy steps to become a part of our national movement for healthy communities:

  1. Read our Lunch Walk Tool Kit
  2. Mark your calendar for the National Walk at Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 24th
  3. Connect with a fellow that is several states away (e.g., Oakland, CA connects with Washington DC) that will serve as your “virtual” walk destination
  4. Develop a team of 5 or more in your community who’ll commit to collectively walk the equivalent number of miles between you and your destination
  5. Start walking on April 24th
  6. Get the message out by taking photos, developing videos and spreading the word through your social networks

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The Lunch Walk campaign is designed to be a fun way to challenge our “pound of cure” health system. The US health care system relies heavily on public funding, with the government spending billions a year on health care alone, and the prevailing methodology used by our current health care system is a treatment-based approach.  There is a significant opportunity for local citizens to increase the quality of healthcare by funding enterprises that emphasize a “triple bottom line” approach. That is, to collaboratively develop an entrepreneurial eco-system which assesses it’s overall impact upon social, ecological and economic factors to ensure the health and well-being of future generations. Learn more about this in our Healthy Communities Program Description.

That may be a lot to digest but guess what, I would argue that most – if not all – Green for All Fellows are already “encouraging preventative health care innovations” in your communities. Now is your opportunity to embrace the Lunch Walk campaign and competition because it’s fun, appeals to our natural inclinations and most of all encourages innovation and participation in creating healthier communities.

So please come together and walk with us and help us transform our communities one step at a time! Stay tuned for more… 

Please note: The National Lunch Walk Challenge is a direct result of my collaboration with Selim Sandoval (Class 3 Green for All Fellow). Additionally, the actual lunch walk program was developed by two local leaders in Williamson, Vicki Hatfield and Tim McNamee, who are featured in this video on Healthy Communities. The Lunch Walk program is managed by the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition. 


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