We here at FoodPlay are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day. My first FOODPLAY show was created in honor of my mother, Natalie Reichlin Storper, who always supported and believed in me, and told me I can be anything I wanted to be. She fought a courageous fight with cancer, and it was during her struggle, that I became interested in nutrition. I came to understand that with so much out of our control, healthy food was one thing we could advocate for, and we could make choices that are good for our health and good for the health of the planet.
My mother was a “50’s” woman, who had a hard time with society’s limitations on women. When women started to meet to explore feminism, she enthusiastically joined in, and during her seven-year struggle with cancer, she went back to school and got her social work degree, and was able to help others, at least briefly.
She always inspired me with her adventurous spirit, her nurturing love, and her amazing ability to be for me and my siblings, the world’s best mom. I don’t think she ever realized, like so many other incredible women, how important being that great mom truly was.
That was all back in 1980 when she passed away, and with all the victories women have achieved, there is still so much more to do, here locally, in our country and throughout the world.
As I look around at my office today, and I see I am surrounded by my staff – composed entirely of women – strong, smart, creative, and super dedicated to our mission of empowering kids to see through media messages and peer group pressures in order to take charge of growing up healthy, happy, active, and fit. I look at our FOODPLAY performing troupe this year – made up of enthusiastic young women performers! They are traveling across the country from school to school, bringing the power of live theater to turn kids on to healthy habits. And, perhaps most importantly, they are encouraging children to be themselves, to grow up to be the best they can be, to invite everyone to the table, and to feed healthy foods to their bodies and healthy messages to their minds.
So, to all the amazing, vulnerable, weak, strong, loving, struggling women of the world, we salute you and are committed to work together to advocate for the health of all of us as well as the health of the planet.