MILWAUKEE -- Nutrition can play a pivotal role in preventing childhood lead poisoning. To highlight that issue, the Hunger Task Force created a new task force dedicated to nutrition and lead.
With the eyes of 150 school-aged children looking on, Milwaukee's leaders on Monday, February 13th gathered to talk about them and their health.
"This is why we get up. This is why we look up, because of the children in Milwaukee. Never should they be hungry and never should they be exposed to lead hazards," said Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker.
Here to do something about it were leaders from various agencies including the Hunger Task Force which launched the "Milwaukee Nutrition & Lead Task Force."
"Lead is a big issue here in Milwaukee -- from lead paint, lead in the water, and this is just another avenue. We have to attack the lead issue in a very positive way," said Alderman Tony Zielinski.
The task force will operate under the slogan "Well fed means less lead."
"Lead is absorbed faster on an empty stomach than on a full stomach, so to ensure Milwaukee residents don't experience hunger is critical," said Tim English, regional administrator.
The campaign will educate high-risk populations about lead issues in our city.
"Lead is everywhere Milwaukee. We have 70,000 homes with lead pipes and lead laterals. We have lead paint in a lot of our older homes. There`s even lead in our soil, so people should be aware of the presence of lead but they should also know they can mitigate lead absorption for themselves and their children by eating well," said Sherri Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force.
That means more vitamin C, green vegetables and red meats, and more calcium -- as a ceremonial milk toast was given to the health of Milwaukee's youth.
Parents or guardians are also being told to not only check themselves but also their children for lead levels. That can be done by going to the Milwaukee Health Department or any of the local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics.
Lead poisoning prevention
- Drinking water safety tips
- Milwaukee’s drinking water filter program
- Lead-safe Wisconsin website
- Lead Poisoning Prevention