USDA Announces Grants to Improve the Health and Future of America's Children

Release No.
0401.11

Contact:
USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

Team Nutrition Initiative Works to Alleviate Childhood Obesity and Promote Physical Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2011-- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced investments across the country to help children develop positive nutrition and physical activity habits that can lead to healthier lifestyles. The grants will provide nutrition education materials, resources for children and parents, and technical assistance and training for school food service providers and communities participating in the National School Lunch and Child and Adult Care Food Programs. The $6.4 million in funding supports elementary and secondary schools applying for the HealthierUS School Challenge, a key component of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.

"If we want to build a strong economy and win the future, then we also need to win the race to educate our kids," said Vilsack. "And that means making sure that the 32 million kids who eat school lunches every day are fueled by nutritious food and healthy habits. With that winning combination we can help to reduce and prevent childhood obesity and ensure more healthful future for every child in America."

States will provide training and technical assistance to school food service staff in making school meals healthier, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk products on the menu, during the two year grant period. Grantees will also promote the use of USDA Foods and teach children to make healthy food choices through hands-on nutrition education experiences. Parents in these states will be offered information on how to support healthy habits at home.

States had the opportunity to apply for up to two Team Nutrition Training Grants for fiscal year 2011, competitive and/or non-competitive. The non-competitive grant funds are awarded as a basis to support States in their efforts to significantly increase the number of schools applying for the HealthierUS School Challenge. States that guarantee a specific number of HUSSC applications during the grant period received a non-competitive award. The 31 States receiving grants include:

  Competitive

Non- Competitive

     
  Alaska   $48,326
  Arizona   $25,000
  California   $19,777
  Connecticut $300,000 $49,854
District of Columbia $282,005 $27,890
  Florida $236,850 $34,905
  Georgia $340,080  
  Idaho $198,853  
  Indiana $82,920 $40,000
  Iowa $304,097 $39,120
  Kansas $300,062 $49,909
  Louisiana   $49,916
  Maine  

$26,206

  Maryland $195,884 $49,999
  Michigan $299,869 $49,100
  Minnesota $284,914 $47,727
  Mississippi   $41,837
  Missouri $294,531  
  Montana $339,333  
  Nebraska $251,641 $35,600
  New Mexico $249,988  
  North Dakota   $28,283
  Ohio   $27,000
  Oregon   $41,555
  Pennsylvania $334,466  
  Rhode Island   $40,858
  South Dakota $289,628 $34,967
  Vermont $238,575 $24,181
  Washington $188,947  
  West Virginia $268,064 $48,304
  Wisconsin $264,878 $19,640

 Improving child nutrition is a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed by President Obama last December. This legislation reauthorizes USDA's Child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative. To learn more, visit www.LetsMove.gov .

More information on the Team Nutrition Training Grants and how schools can become Team Nutrition and HealthierUS School Challenge schools is available at teamnutrition.usda.gov.