Children in Kane County will have increased opportunities for exercise and healthy eating, all as a result of recent grants.
The Making Kane County Fit for Kids Funders Consortium has awarded 17 grants to local agencies and community groups. The grants, ranging in amount from $500 to $10,000, will be used to reverse the rising tide of childhood obesity through a variety of programs designed to promote active lifestyles and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Grant recipients were chosen by the consortium based on their proposals to implement strategies that are contained in the Fit Kids 2020 Plan.
"This is the next step in our struggle to end childhood obesity and help reach our vision of ensuring that Kane County residents are the healthiest in Illinois by 2030," county board Chairman Karen McConnaughay stated in a news release.
"We did not get ourselves into this predicament overnight, and we will not dig ourselves out through the use of quick fixes. The strategies identified in the Fit Kids 2020 Plan offer a solid structure that will allow us to take specific actions and provide a healthier future for our children."
Some of the recipients will use the grants to increase the presence of the successful community garden program in the county. Other recipients are looking to expand and improve community playgrounds and recreational facilities.
The grants will also make it possible to use Link cards at farmers markets. Anyone approved to receive cash assistance or SNAP (food stamps) benefits will be issued an Illinois Link card. The Illinois Link card is a plastic card that looks and works like a debit card. Not only will this initiative allow lower income residents greater opportunity to purchase healthy foods, it also provides an economic boost to the local growers of the area by increasing their customer base.
The Fit Kids 2020 Plan was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation experts, faith leaders, local policy makers and others.
To access a copy of the Fit Kids 2020 Plan, visit:
The Funders Consortium's members are: the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, the United Way of Elgin, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Kane County Regional Office of Education and the Kane County Departments of Health, Development and Community Services, and Transportation.