I met Marisa Langford a couple of years ago when I was writing for the Trib and she was hosting her second “Fit Kids Playground” in Tampa. She’s the kind of mom who manages to be both down to earth and inspiring — she gets you excited about what you can do with and for your kids and yet you never feel talked down to.
Marisa is on a campaign for healthy living along the lines of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. For years now, she has been visiting schools to talk to little kids about getting their fruits and veggies by “eating a rainbow” and she sets up shop regularly with “Fit Kids” at farmer’s markets and parks. Now (with her fourth child on the way!) she has secured a grant worth up to $10,000 for programs that will make families fitter, healthier and happier.
It involves some targeted efforts at a school that serves a high population of low-income and homeless families. And it gets out into the general community as well, overhauling a preschool exercise program for the Hillsborough County library system and helping parents who want to start healthy eating campaigns in their children’s school. There’s even a plan to grow crops in the bed of a truck — “Truck Farm” is catching attention in other communities with its mobile demonstrations that you don’t need to have a lot of land to grow crops.