A Warsaw native, Amanda Ezzell, see herself as a role model, not just a professional voice in the movement encouraging a healthy lifestyle to youths like those enrolled in a 4-H summer program at the Duplin Cooperative Extension office.
In recognition of the youth obesity and high risk of related health issues in Duplin County, Wanda Clay, director of the Duplin County Center-NC Cooperative Extension office, says Ezzell is working with Extension staff this summer to bring nutrition and physical activity programs to youths taking part in a 4-H project during August.
“In the early years of life I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and found my weight ballooning out of control,” Ms. Ezzell said. “After nutrition and physical activity overhaul and six years of implementing lifestyle changes I am down 70 pounds and have developed a passion for teaching others about healthier living.”
Through the Duplin Cooperative Extension in Kenansville, Ms. Ezzell is part of a comprehensive educational program called “Farm to Table and 4-H Cooking School” following our local agriculture products from the farm to the table. Her part of the curriculum aims to introduce and create awareness of the many healthy and tasteful uses for locally raised livestock and produce, and that includes food preparation with hands-on cooking techniques, proper portion sizes and good budgeting practices, as well as a few fun, low-impact exercises.
According to Duplin Extension 4-H Agent Bridgett Huffman, the curriculum also includes educational highlights in Duplin learning from staff at Liberty Hall, Burch Farms, Murphy-Brown, and the Warsaw Wellness and Recreation Center, plus a trip to the Kenly, NC , Tobacco Museum. In its second year, the summer activity “Farm to Table and 4-H Cooking School” is sponsored in part by a health initiative grant from Duplin General Hospital Foundation.
“I hope I can be an inspiration and role model to children in our community and help them avoid the difficult path of recovery from an unhealthy lifestyle. “ Ms. Ezzell said. She is a graduate from Cape Fear Community College with an Associates degree in Culinary Technology. In the fall Ms. Ezzell will continue studying Hospitality Management with a concentration in Conventions and Special Events and a minor in Business Administration at East Carolina University.