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Swapping candy bars for carrot sticks: Pacificsource Healthy Life™ Schools Challenge returns with kickoff event on April 18

Springfield and Bethel School Districts unite in friendly competition to promote healthy eating and physical activity

(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) April 11, 2016—From April 17 through May 15, vending-machine snacks will be hard to spot in the classrooms and break rooms across the Springfield and Bethel schools districts. That’s because healthy eating and physical activity among teachers, faculty, and staff takes center stage starting Monday with the launch of the annual PacificSource Healthy Life Schools Challenge. 

Now in its sixth year, the four-week Challenge rewards schools in each district whose faculty and staff replace the greatest number of high calorie snacks each day with servings of fresh fruits and/or vegetables. 

The elementary, middle and high schools that consume the highest percentage of fruits and vegetables will each receive a $1,000 donation from PacificSource to be used to support health and wellness efforts within the school. Participants will have a head start toward achieving their goal courtesy of PacificSource, which is providing complimentary fruits and vegetables each week during the Challenge. 

In addition to healthy eating, this year’s Challenge incorporates a physical activity component. Bethel and Springfield school district staff members are encouraged to participate in the “Couch to 5K” training program, a four-week training plan specifically designed to help participants prepare to run or walk a 5-kilometer race. 

“With the competing demands of work, family and other social obligations, it can be a daily struggle to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle,” said Alexa Shook, director of Health Promotion and Wellness for PacificSource Health Plans. “The Healthy Life Schools Challenge is a fun way for faculty and staff to take charge of their health, while inspiring their students to do the same.”

Back this year is the PacificSource Healthy Life Essay Contest, in which elementary students are invited to write in their own words what it means to them to live a healthy life. The winning student will receive free admission to a weeklong Jordan Kent Skill Camp this summer. 

Nearly 75 percent of the faculty and staff at Bethel and Springfield school districts participated in the 2015 Healthy Life Schools Challenge, consuming 24,000 servings of fruits and vegetables and replacing 6,500 unhealthy snacks. 

A kickoff assembly will be held at Springfield’s Guy Lee Elementary School on Monday, April 18 starting at 8:25 a.m. Former University of Oregon three-sport standout Jordan Kent will be the featured speaker. 

About PacificSource Healthy Life™:

Through collaboration with individuals, organizations, academic institutions, and other key stakeholders, PacificSource Healthy Life™ facilitates the adoption and maintenance of positive health behaviors in four key areas: physical activity, healthy eating, smoke free living, and stress management. With programs throughout the Pacific Northwest, Healthy Life is a leader with regard to wellness initiatives that improve the health of the people in the communities that PacificSource Health Plans serves. For more information about PacificSource Healthy Life, visit

About PacificSource Health Plans:

PacificSource Health Plans is an independent, not-for-profit community health plan serving the Northwest. Founded in 1933, PacificSource is based in Eugene, Oregon, with local offices throughout Oregon and in Idaho and Montana. The PacificSource family of companies employs 700 people, serves more than 275,000 individuals, and has 3,900 employer clients throughout the Northwest. PacificSource Community Health Plans, Inc. is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and markets Medicare Advantage products under the name PacificSource Medicare. PacificSource Community Solutions, Inc. is a subsidiary of PacificSource Health Plans and provides Medicaid coverage in Oregon through the Oregon Health Plan. For more information visit

Alexa Shook, PacificSource

Justin Yax, DVA Advertising & PR