Quinn Proclaims March Nutrition Month; Seven Illinoisans Honored

Gov. Quinn Proclaims March Nutrition Month, Urges Parents, Schools and Communities to Promote Better Nutrition

Springfield - Highlighting the health benefits of good nutrition for Illinois families, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Illinois Interagency Nutrition Council (INC) honored seven Illinoisans for their commitment to improving nutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles. IDHS and INC presented the Robin A. Orr Community Partnership Awards at the 10th annual March Nutrition Month event on March 19, in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Springfield.

The event honored Dr. Robin A. Orr, of the University of Illinois Extension Office, for her service to nutrition education in the state. For 17 years, Dr. Orr has been the voice of nutrition education for our most vulnerable Illinois citizens. March 19th has been proclaimed as Robin A. Orr Day in Illinois by Governor Pat Quinn and the first annual Robin A. Orr Community Partnership Awards were presented to six honorees.

"Eating nutritious foods is a first step toward being healthy and keeping fit." said IDHS Assistant Secretary Grace Hou. "March Nutrition Month is a great opportunity to make everyone aware of the health benefits of eating right and to recognize those who have devoted their careers to nutrition and health promotion."

Throughout the month of March, recognized as Nutrition Month, the Illinois Department of Human Services along with the Illinois Interagency Nutrition Council are joining nutrition professionals across the state and around the country to promote good nutrition, physical activity and health.

The Robin A. Orr Community Partnership Awards recognize a lifetime commitment to outstanding service for persons seeking to improve their nutrition and lifestyle. The award is also devoted to people who strive to make a nutritional difference in lives of low-income persons.

The award recognizes programs that promote healthy eating, physical activity and positive partnerships to address the high rates of obesity and diabetes by collaborating to improve the health of all Illinoisans.

Those receiving the first annual Robin A. Orr Community Partnership Awards were selected from the 38 nominations received statewide. In addition to this recognition, each organization is receiving $1,000 to continue their activities to promote health and wellness and for diabetes education.

Those honored include:

  • Jose Luis Rodriguez, Community Organizing for Obesity Prevention in Humboldt Park (CO-OP HP), Chicago
  • Jan McBee, Clearview Elementary School, Waukegan District 60 (school nurse), Waukegan Jackie Molln and Lorri Bernier, Tri-County Opportunities Council Head Start/EHS, Rock Falls DeeAnn Schippert, Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department, Watseka
  • Misti Farler, Healthy Families 4 Life (Coles County Health Department), Charleston
  • Karen Cole, Parent Educator, Westside School, Harrisburg School District #3, Harrisburg

For more information about the state nutrition programs, please contact Penny Roth, Illinois Department of Human Services' Bureau of Family Nutrition at (217) 782-2166, or check out the Interagency Nutrition Council website at http://inc.aces.uiuc.edu.