An initiative to curb childhood obesity will begin in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Ivanhoe neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri.
KC Healthy Kids has been awarded a $360,000 grant as part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities effort from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The money will be used to help improve access to affordable, healthy food and find new opportunities for physical activity for children in both neighborhoods.
"This grant will help empower our community to prevent childhood obesity," said Gretchen Kunkel, president of KC Healthy Kids. "Kansas City has the capacity to make changes today that will improve
the lives of our children well into adulthood. All of us will benefit
from a healthier, more active community."
Kansas City was one of 41 sites selected out of 500 proposals nationwide. To improve access to healthy and/or fresh food, the program will look at promoting those choices through community gardens, corner stores and grocery stores. At the same time, the group plans to encourage policies that can bring physical improvements to the Argentine and Ivanhoe neighborhoods via sidewalks or walking trails.
KC Healthy Kids will work with the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, Weighing In Collaborative, Mid America Regional Council and the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition to reach out to the two communities.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities launched in 2008 as a key piece in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's $500 million pledge to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a $33 million initiative with 50 communities in the United States and Puerto Rico.