Friday, December 09, 2011

Residents to gain more access to healthy, active lifestyle options through local grant programming

Three Elgin organizations – Downtown Neighborhood Association, the City of Elgin and Highland Fellowship Church – were among 11 selected to receive grant funding from the Making Kane County Fit for Kids Consortium.

The grants, ranging in amount from $1,200 to $10,000, will be used to reverse the rising tide of childhood obesity in Kane County through a variety of programs designed to promote active lifestyles and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The city of Elgin was selected to receive two grants – one for $10,000 for the Elgin Community Garden Network to expand the number of community garden sites through the city and one for $1,500 for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee to support the Second Annual Bike for Life event.

Highland Fellowship Church will receive a $4,000 grant to expand a community garden on their church site where local at-risk families can learn how to grow food for themselves and for local food pantries.

DNA will receive a $3,500 grant to purchase equipment to accept debit, credit and LINK cards at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market. The initiative will allow lower income residents greater opportunity to purchase healthy, locally grown and produced foods, and also provides an economic boost to the local growers and vendors of the area by increasing their customer base.

“We will now be able to open up the market to an underserved population, giving them more access to locally produced foods and to their community,” said Tonya Hudson, DNA executive director. “When they shop at the market, they will also see cooking demonstrations by local chefs, exhibits by local artists, performances by local musicians and more. We hope the experience will encourage more engagement in the downtown and in the community.”

Grant recipients were chosen by the Consortium based on their proposals to implement strategies that are contained in the Fit Kids 2020 Plan. This is the second time this year that the Consortium has distributed the grants.

The Fit Kids 2020 Plan was developed by parents, physicians, engineers, educators, planners, public health professionals, transportation experts, faith leaders, local policy makers and more. The Funders Consortium’s members are: the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, the United Way of Elgin, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Kane County Regional Office of Education and the Kane County Departments of Health, Development and Transportation.

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