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Stimulus funds going to Ky counties for obesity prevention programs

Public Health Awards Grant Funding to Bolster Local Farm to School Programs

Ten Counties Receive Funding

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 2, 2011) - The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) Obesity Prevention Program recently awarded $54,000 in grants to several Kentucky counties. The awards were given as part of the Farm to School program, which connects schools and local farms with the goal of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias while also supporting local farmers. Funding was awarded to Calloway, Carlisle, Daviess, Fayette, Madison, Marshall, Mercer, Owsley, Perry and Woodford counties.

“The Farm to School program is a wonderful way to provide our students with healthy, Kentucky grown food,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “This initiative will support local agriculture while also encouraging young people to make nutritious choices, both now and in the future.”

Under the requirements of the grant program, local health departments in these communities will establish Farm to School teams that consist of food service directors, classroom teachers, farmers and community advocates. These teams will implement activities in local schools that include three program areas –  cafeteria, classroom and community – as a way of educating children about what they eat; what they learn about food; and what they observe in their communities.

“As we learn more about nutrition and its impact on our health and well-being, a renewed emphasis on locally grown, fresh produce has emerged,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “The Farm to School program helps young people access nutritious food and teaches them valuable lessons about where their food comes from while also providing a boost to the local agricultural community.”

In addition to supplying nourishing, locally grown food in schools, Farm to School offers nutrition and agriculture education that helps children understand where their food comes from and how their food choices affect their bodies, environment and community.

Local teams will receive training and technical assistance from the Kentucky Farm to School Taskforce led by DPH. Other members include the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Community Farm Alliance, the University of Kentucky (UK) agriculture extension offices, the UK College of Public Health and Action for Healthy Kids.

Each of the 10 counties received a $5,400 grant.

Funding for this project comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant.

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