On Friday, Aug. 8th, the University of Georgia College of Public Health celebrated “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day” by uniting social media with Georgia personalities to promote healthy eating and the fight against obesity in a campaign called “Spread the Health.”
Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, former UGA football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, restaurateur Hugh Acheson, and Emily Vall, obesity project manager for Georgia SHAPE were just a few of the notable Georgians to receive baskets filled with fresh, locally grown produce.
Photos of the recipients and their baskets were shared through social media, #stealthyhealthy, with the goal of creating a buzz on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We saw this as a fun way for the College of Public Health to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating,” said Marsha Davis, the College’s associate dean for outreach and engagement.
The campaign also provided an opportunity to draw attention to the College’s partners in Georgia’s anti-obesity campaign, including Georgia SHAPE, a statewide initiative launched by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Department of Public Health in 2012, to tackle childhood obesity through improved fitness and nutrition.
“Obesity is a serious health problem in our state, and having well-known people like Mrs. Deal be part of this campaign may highlight the issue for many Georgians,” said Davis. “We hope the campaign has been able to shine a light on the importance of eating right, exercising, and being an advocate for healthier living in your own community.”
The tongue-in-cheek holiday was first organized by Tom Roy, a Pennsylvania resident who, in response to “the overzealous planting of zucchini,” encouraged people to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors' doorsteps.
Phickle’s Pickles and UGArden student farm generously contributed to the baskets’ edibles, while food writer and Fire & Flavor owner Gena Knox shared a recipe to help recipients enjoy the bounty.