Community effort gets $100,000 grant to improve children's access to local foods
- on December 16, 2010
The Lawrence community will benefit from a $100,000 grant that was announced today by the United Methodist Health Ministry.
The Douglas County Child Development Association in partnership with the Success by 6 Coalition of Douglas County received the grant to spearhead an effort to make wholesome, locally-grown foods more available to young children and their families in Lawrence.
The project is called Families, Farmers, & Educators United for Healthy Child Development, and it has four interrelated components:
• Establish Consumer Supported Agriculture or CSA — a weekly subscription for pick-up or delivery of fresh produce from local growers — in three center-based child care programs and with the families enrolled in them.
• Facilitate community and home gardening for 25 home-based child care programs enrolled in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the families of children in the programs.
• Train center-based and home-based child care cooks in preparation of fresh produce and how to pass this information on to families.
• Implement in participating child care programs a new child care curriculum — “Food is Elementary” —focused on improved food choices.
Lawrence was among seven Kansas communities who received a total $500,000 to prevent obesity in young children through increased physical activity and nutrition.
The grants, awarded through the Health Fund’s 2010 Fit for Kansas Kids program, were selected from among 39 proposals received representing approximately $2.5 million in requests.
Other communities who received awards:
• Coffeyville, $77,630. It will support upgrades at the Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center to establish a community site for physical activity and nutrition activities for young children and their families.
• Newton, $49,140. It will support expanded physical activity and health lessons at the new Cooper Early Education Center, which serves nearly 200 preschool children.
• Wichita, $99,956. It will go to a coalition led by Kansas University School of Medicine — Wichita to encourage pregnant women to engage in adequate physical activity.
• Derby, $35,000. The Derby Recreational Commission is leading a community effort to provide more opportunities for young children in the area to be involved in healthy physical activity and learn about good nutrition.
• Wichita, $47,893. The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita will expand its successful work in worksite wellness and school health to improving the culture of child care programs around physical activity and nutrition. Through a small grant application process, 25 Wichita child care programs will be selected to participate in the project.
• Lindsborg, $6,669. It will fund Fit for Lindsborg Kids, a collaborative community project which will establish a series of free activities and events specifically for young children and their families.
• Graham County, $94,240. Several Hill City parks will be upgraded to have appropriate equipment for young children. To encourage use of the facilities, the local recreation commission will implement new programs specifically designed for the families of young children, such as T-ball, exercise classes, and swimming classes.