Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LiveWell Family Resource Kit: Helping families be healthy and save money

By Guest Blogger Corey Herskowitz, LiveWell program associate

In my house growing up, dinner with my brother and sister consisted of pizza on Wednesday’s, Chinese food on Sunday’s, fast food once or twice a week and countless TV dinners. With no hesitation, we were downing thousands of empty calories and getting an early start on the highway to heart disease and diabetes. Really though, what child would question pizza and french fries? My sister never did and she was borderline obese and had high cholesterol - in fourth grade! Not to mention the ridicule she went through as an overweight teen.

From my experiences working for WNED ThinkBright and Well on LiveWell, a community initiative encouraging healthy lifestyles, I have come across the same situation again and again – young kids who eat unhealthy because that’s what’s given to them or most available. Unfortunately, this situation is ubiquitous in today’s society. In this economy, time and money issues are always on the table (along with the easy access to high-sodium, high-fat foods). Instead of shopping smarter and cutting coupons we’re eating out and sacrificing our children’s health for convenience.

LiveWell Family Resource Kit

LiveWell FRKMotivated by the needs of the 14204 community and my sister’s childhood experiences, I am excited about the newly created LiveWell Family Resource Kit. This kit was designed to provide parents with resources to access healthier foods without overspending. It also provides activities parents can bring home and do with their kids.

LiveWell Family Resource Kits will be available from WNED ThinkBright and Well in mid-February. Not only will the kits be distributed at health fairs and other events, but they will also be handed out to parents that participate in Cornell Cooperative Extension’s federally funded nutrition education programs, including Eat Smart NY! Participants will learn how to use the materials in the kit and will come away with tools to assist them in making healthier decisions for themselves and their families.

When I look back on the unhealthy days of my childhood, knowing what I know now, I am thankful for them, because they have shaped who I have become and the career path I have chosen. The LiveWell Family Resource Kit is one small step toward a much larger public health goal of making the healthy choice the easy choice. If this kit is successful in helping local families utilize their resources and live a healthier lifestyle, I couldn’t be happier.

LiveWell is a community engagement initiative of WNED’s ThinkBright and Well multimedia service to promote healthy lifestyles in the 14204 area of Buffalo and beyond. LiveWell is a partnership with the P2 Collaborative of WNY and UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions. LiveWell is funded by the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Independent Health.

For more information on LiveWell or the Family Resource kits contact thinkbright@wned.org or (716) 845-7000 x345.


  1. Cool info. What exactly is in the kits? Are they coupons? A step-by-step guide? What kind of resources? Thanks!

    1. The kits have a range of resources in them from a "LiveWell Healthy Choices Tracker" where you can set goals for diet and exercise and keep track of them, to a DVD produced by local youth talking about health topics. There are also guides for choosing healthier snacks and choosing healthier foods when eating out. There are no actual coupons but there is a list of online resources where you could go to get coupons.