WINDOW ROCK – Nearly a hundred pounds of candy was exchanged for toys by children and adults on Saturday at the Northern Navajo Fair next to City Market following the parade.
The Office of the Vice President Jonathan Nez encouraged children to bring their candy they collected on the parade route and exchange them for toys such as spinners, balls, hula hoops, and other items. Navajo Special Diabetes Project help to coordinate the activity in front of their old office near City Market.
The Vice President was pleased with the line of kids with bags of candy in hand as they stood in line waiting to exchange their candy for gifts.
“I am very happy to see this wonderful response from our children in exchanging the parade candy for volleyballs, basketballs, and spinners,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Nez. “President Russell Begaye and I are in support of health among our people. We want to do everything we can to fight diabetes and other chronic diseases among our people. A lot of times, we send mixed messages to our children when we say we want them to be healthy and strong, then we turn around, and give them candy at the Fair parades.”
Eight staff members from Special Diabetes Project were on hand to assist with the Vice President’s Candy Exchange Project. Charlene Begay, Program Supervisor I from Shiprock Service Area said the project is consistent with NNSDP’s scope of work addressing childhood obesity prevention and education.
“NNSDP encourages, monitors, and advocates to increase physical activities, diabetes education, and nutrition education in schools and various communities,” said Begay. “Under our key measures, our Program has to identify numbers of youth between the ages of 5-17 who are screened for overweight and obesity for the fiscal year.
Vice President Nez said that the collected candy will be shipped by the Navajo Nation overseas during the upcoming holidays to our service men and women in the military.
The “Candy Exchange Project” will be held at the Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City on Saturday October 14, 2017, following the parade. The locations are being determined at the present time.
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.