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Jennifer Lopez grew up on a diet of rice, beans and pork chops. A diet she admits wasn’t necessarily healthy, but growing up, her family didn’t have much. Rice, beans and pork chops were considered “healthy” foods for the singer’s family who didn’t have access to many fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lopez and her sister, Lynda Lopez returned to their hometown, the Bronx, New York for a surprise visit this weekend to launch the Center For A Healthy Childhood, a partnership between the Lopez Family Foundation and Montefiore Health System. Their initiative aims to promote healthy living through community health programming, positive messages to raise children’s self-image and a healthy environment so every woman, child and family can achieve their full potential.
During the surprise visit, the Lopez Family Foundation made a $250,000 donation to Montefiore. Jenifer, Lynda and many friends and family also attended a Community Health Fair on Montefiore’s Moses Campus and participated in activities including a Zumba class class featuring participants in B’N Fit, a program affiliated with the Center for a Healthy Childhood that helps teenagers maintain or lose weight. They also assisted in a healthy cooking demonstration, making smoothies for those at the fair.
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) June 1, 2014
“We can do so much to make the Bronx, our hometown, a healthier place. We can exercise together and we can eat well together. The Center for a Healthy Childhood will help make our vision a reality on every block,” said Jennifer Lopez. “It feels good to come home and talk to moms and kids about making healthy lifestyle decisions – they can make changes now that will set them on a path for a long, happy life.”
The Center builds upon Montefiore’s comprehensive community health programs and the long-standing commitment of Jennifer and Lynda to improving the health and well-being of women and children. It will serve Montefiore patients and their families, as well as the tens of thousands of children and families in the Bronx and beyond reached through partnerships with the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other health and social service providers.
“We love having the opportunity to offer resources that mothers, children and families in the Bronx need for better access to healthcare, health information and health education,” said Lynda Lopez. “The Lopez Family Foundation is passionate about the health and well-being of mothers and children, and we’re excited the Center for a Healthy Childhood will go deep into the community to provide needed support – whether it’s to educate about childhood nutrition, physical activity, emotional and intellectual engagement on health, or healthy pregnancies and motherhood.”
Tomorrow, June 4, J Lo will perform a free concert to promote her upcoming album, A.K.A. at Orchard Beach Park kicking off the State Farm Neighborhood Sessions, a series of live summer music in the borough. While in the Bronx this weekend, Jennifer and Lynda hid tickets to the concert around the neighborhood and sent fans on a Twitter scavenger hunt to find them.
J Lo’s new album is set to release June 17.
For more information about the Center and its affiliated programs, visit chc.montefiore.org.