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updated: 11/12/2012 11:26 AM

DuPage County groups awarded grants to reduce childhood obesity

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY-Nineteen organizations were awarded mini-grants Thursday (Nov. 8) by FORWARD (Fighting Obesity to Reach healthy Weight Among Residents of DuPage) to create sustainable changes to reverse the obesity trend among children in at-risk populations in DuPage County.

The "Get in the Action" mini-grants were awarded to organizations with a track record of success and whose projects identify systems, policy or environmental changes in specific populations or communities.

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Funding for the grants was provided by Action for Healthy Kids, Cadence Health System, the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and Edward Hospital. The mini-grants totaled $65,000 and went to groups that have identified strategies to create healthier environments within their communities and bring about a reversal of childhood obesity in DuPage County.

Through a broad-based network of more than 600 committed partners, FORWARD's goal is to implement changes in all 32 DuPage municipalities by identifying resources, harnessing expertise, promoting education and advancing opportunities for policy, system, and environmental change. FORWARD is a public-private partnership with the DCHD as FORWARD's fiduciary agent. For additional information on FORWARD, visit www.forwarddupage.org.

The recipients of the mini-grants were announced during FORWARD's Fall Coalition Meeting at Danada House in Wheaton. The meeting also included two keynote speakers: Anupama Joshi, director of the National Farm to School Network, who discussed the financial impact of growing and distributing more food locally, and Alice Wood, author and educator, who talked about the correlation between the rise in consumer spending and the rise in obesity.

Get in the Action Mini Mobilization Grants

Addison School District #4

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to purchase two salad bars for Army Trail and Fullerton Schools and provide nutrition programming to increase fresh fruits and vegetable consumption at lunch time for students. Estimated Impact: 1,000 students per year.

Addison School District #4: Foundation for Educational Excellence

Step, Jump and Run

Awarded: $1,400

Funding to purchase mini-trampolines and establish a BMI/fitness surveillance system for students in physical activity class. Expected Impact: 2,700 students per year.

Addison School District #4: Foundation for Educational Excellence

Heart Adventure

Awarded: $2,000

Funding to purchase obstacle course equipment for students that simulates cardiovascular health. Includes physical activity educational programming. Expected Impact: 5,000 students per year.

Breaking Free - D.R.E.A.M.

Awarded: $2,500

Funding to purchase a refrigerator for Gary School so that fresh fruits and vegetables can be stored for after-school snacks. Includes healthy nutrition programming. Expected Impact: 100 students per year.

Connection of Friends

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to develop and expand healthy living programming on a daily basis for special needs teens and adults. Expected Impact: 65 teens and adults.

Downers Grove Indian Trail Elementary

Awarded: $800

Funding to purchase four TRX Training Units installed in the school gym for Fit Kids programming and increased physical activity. Expected Impact: 30 children.

DuPage County Forest Preserve

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to purchase new kayaks and equipment for popular outdoor clinics provided to all residents of DuPage County.

Expected Impact: 3,000 residents.

Healthy Lombard Foundation

Awarded: $2,000

Funding to purchase video equipment to develop nutrition education programming to be run on local channels, YouTube and Facebook. Expected Impact: 2,000 residents.

Indian Boundary YMCA

Awarded: $4,000

Funding for curriculum design, a nutritionist and to purchase Fitness Gram to pilot the expansion of Healthy Kids Camp with the after-school program. Expected Impact: 85 children per year.

League of Illinois Bicyclists

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to develop a website and incentives for participation for an online bicycle safety training program for all DuPage 4th and 5th graders. Expected Impact: 25,000 children.

Northern Illinois Food Bank

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to develop a pilot program with 5 DuPage food pantries that includes milk delivery at a reduced rate for families and nutrition programming. Expected Impact: 300 families.

Tri-Town YMCA

Awarded: $3,700

Funding to purchase equipment and establish walking/geocaching clubs for afterschool programming, summer camp, and parent activities. Expected Impact: 300 kids and adults.

Village of Villa Park - Iowa Community Center Playground

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to install a handicap ramp and expand and resurface the playground zone for toddlers to allow greater accessibility. Expected Impact: 1,000 residents.

WAYS (Winfield, Wayne Area Youth Family Services)

Awarded: $1,000

Funding to expand camp programming and purchase of equipment to build raised garden beds and expand patio gardening for low-income seniors. Expected Impact: 100 residents.

West Chicago Police Department - D.R.E.A.M.

Awarded: $2,400

Funding to purchase a refrigerator so that fresh fruits and vegetables can be stored for after school snacks at Pioneer School. Expected Impact: 100 students per year.

Wheaton Park District - Sensory Garden Playground

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to complete Phase I of a larger outdoor playground area by building raised vegetable gardens. Expected Impact: 2,000 residents.

William Hammerschmidt Elementary School - Learn and Play Garden

Awarded: $5,000

Funding to complete Phase I which includes raised vegetable gardens, compost and rain barrels and add ADA playground zones and accessible surfaces for a large playground area with playing fields. Expected Impact: 1,000 students.

Wooddale Public Library

Awarded: $1,800

Funding to purchase and teach a healthy living curriculum. Expected Impact: 500 residents.

Woodridge Park District

Awarded: $ 3,400

Funding to purchase equipment and provide incentives for a new after-school healthy living program for Kidz Squad. Expected Impact: 150 children.

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