press release

April 17, 2013

Arlene Putterman
Stop & Shop NY Metro

Expert Panel to Speak to 6th Graders at "Healthy Kids Summit" at Hackensack Middle School presented by Stop & Shop

Purchase, NY (April 17, 2013) – The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC and the YMCA of Greater Bergen County will host a “Healthy Kids Summit” at Hackensack Middle School located at 360 Union Avenue on Thursday, April 18th at 1:09 pm. A panel of experts will discuss proper diet and nutrition, the importance of exercise, the need to balance homework and social activities, the need to turn off electronic devices, the value of a family dinner hour and how to address bullying and other social pressures that pre-teens face.

“Stop & Shop is pleased to join the YMCA of Greater Bergen County and assemble a group of experts that are able to speak to 350 children about issues that impact their everyday lives,” said Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public and Community Relations of Stop & Shop’s NY Metro Division. “The youngsters will hear about ways they can help their parents provide them with wise choices for meals and snacks. They will also receive some very important advice on how to navigate through the issues that 21st century kids encounter.”

The panel will include: Dr. Julie L. Ryan, Associate Director, PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Dr. Jennifer Nicole Sivitz, Medical Director, Healthy Futures at Hackensack University Medical Center; Nadia Guzman, a Chef with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Food Service Training Academy; Marla Klein, Partnership Coordinator for Bergen County Department of Health Services; Former New York Giants Wide Receiver, Stephen Baker; Glenn MacAfee, Operations Director of the YMCA of Greater Bergen County and Arlene Putterman of Stop & Shop.

“It is important that children learn to make healthy choices at an early age. This will promote good health habits as they get older, and will improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Jennifer Nicole Sivitz, Medical Director, Healthy Futures at "HackensackUMC. “Healthy habits include eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, getting at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, and limiting time in front of the TV/computer. Allowing children to get involved in the process of selecting healthy foods as well as in food preparation is a great start."

“A child’s feelings are connected to how they take care of their bodies. By eating healthy foods, getting a balanced amount of sleep and exercising every day kidscan feel less tired, irritable and moody, said Julie L. Ryan, PhD, the Associate Director of the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “Being able to concentrate on school work and having energy to have fun with friends and family depends on how we fuel our bodies.”

“Family time together promotes wellness. We need to allow time for recreation and relaxation and create open lines of communication to relieve stress. Families should schedule regular family meals during the week and on weekends and bar smartphones, IPADS and other electronic devices from the dinner table, said Marla Klein, the Partnership Coordinator for the Bergen County Department of Health Services. “Parents should also become more involved with physical activity and recreational opportunities to promote wellness while at the same time reducing screen time in front of TV and computers.”

“The technology that makes video games and IPADS available to our youngsters cannot be allowed to take over the lives of our young, “said former New York Giants Wide Receiver, Stephen Baker. “It is incumbent that parents make sure that their children do not live online, but rather lead active, athletic and healthy lifestyles. We also need to make sure that children are provided with healthy and nutritious foods and taught about the importance that diet and exercise will have on their health.”

“One in five children in New Jersey are hungry, and the latest numbers show almost 300,000 kids in the state live below the federal poverty level” said Nadia Guzman, a Chef with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Food Service Training Academy. “With so many families struggling to put food on the table, it is more important than ever to share information about making healthier choices. The Community FoodBank of New Jersey not only distributes 40 million pounds of food a year, we also make nutrition education a priority.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
  • Fewer than 25% of adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables each day.
  • 85% of adolescent females do not consume enough calcium. During the last 25 years, consumption of milk, the largest source of calcium, has decreased 36% among adolescent females.
  • The average daily soft drink consumption has almost doubled among adolescent females, increasing from 6 ounces to 11 ounces, and almost tripled among adolescent males, from 7 ounces to 19 ounces.
  • Despite growing rates of childhood obesity and chronic illness among the nation’s kids, only 15% of American parents rank overall physical health as the top concern for their children.
  • 74% of children ages 5 to 12 do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • The economy has created financial challenges and time constraints that make it difficult for many families to carve out time to provide a healthy home environment.
  • 70% of parents opt to spend family time with their kids sitting in front of the TV.
  • 42% of parents say growing technological distractions – social networks, computer games and cell phones are getting in the way of active play.
  • 58% of children ages 5 to 12 spend less than four days a week playing outdoors.

About Stop & Shop

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 60,000 associates and operates 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness - with emphasis on children's educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA's Smart Way program; has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 54 of its existing stores; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit and