Salt Lake City, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association(NRPA), has received a $25,000.00 grant to support its out-of-school time healthy food access and nutritional literacy programs. The gift is part of a $1.5 million grant NRPA received from the Walmart Foundation to support out-of-school time programs in park and recreation agencies across the country. The purpose of the grant is to:
- Increase the number of healthy meals children receive through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during out-of-school times.
- Provide evidence-based nutrition literacy to children and families that creates behavior change, including increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Implement healthy living practices and policies aligned with the evidence-based healthy eating and physical activity standards that increase access to healthier foods and support a healthy environment.
This grant will help YouthCity, Salt Lake City’s afterschool and summer program, increase access to healthy foods and improve opportunities for physical activity. YouthCity will receive support for meals provided through USDA afterschool and summer feeding programs as well as nutritional literacy materials to help ensure lifelong healthy habits for Salt Lake City’s youth.
This grant supports NRPA’s campaign — Commit to Health— which encourages the implementation and evaluation of ‘Healthy Eating, Physical Activity’ (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites nationwide. NRPA’s goal is to have at least 2,000 participating sites in five years. Within the first four years of the program, 1,650 sites have pledgedto Commit to Health and nearly 300,000 children now have improved access to healthy foods and increased opportunities for physical activity.
According to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, 1 in 6 kids across the country struggle with hunger every day. During the school year, over 21 million low-income children receive free or reduced meals to help them meet their daily nutrition needs, but only 3 million of these children receive these meals during the summer. During summer months, these children may not have access to quality and healthy food to help them grow—making Salt Lake City’s efforts during out-of-school times that much more critical.
“Thanks to a successful four years with Commit to Health and the Walmart Foundation, nearly 300,000 children now have improved access to healthy foods and physical activity,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “Parks and recreation are proving their critical role in the health of their communities and we can’t wait to see the impact this year’s grants will have on fostering life-long healthy habits in children across the country.”
“We are honored to receive this grant from the NRPA,” added Salt Lake City Youth & Family Services Director, Kim Thomas. “We are looking forward to implementing important healthy food access and nutritional literacy programs into our YouthCity curriculum to help our city’s young people develop lasting healthy habits.”
To learn more about Commit to Health, visit www.nrpa.org/committohealth.