Waterloo One of Six Cities to Share $445,000 in Grants to Support Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

posted 1/18/2017 by Mayor Quentin Hart in News

WASHINGTON, DC. — Today The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced the winners of the 2017 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards during the organization’s 85th Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. The awards went to cities with outstanding programs that encourage healthy weight through balanced diet choices and regular physical activity.

Susan Neely, CEO of the American Beverage Association said, “The winning programs showcase the creativity and innovation of America’s mayors as well as their dedication to the health and wellness of their cities. This partnership exemplifies that by working together, government and industry can bring about real and lasting change to communities across the nation.”
Six U.S. cities were recognized for their mayoral-based initiatives:
  • Large Cities
    • Las Vegas, NV
    • Phoenix, AZ
  • Medium Cities
    • Columbia, SC
    • Gresham, OR
  • Small Cities
    • Huntington, WV
    • Waterloo, IA
“The health and welfare of our young people is always our Mayors’ top priority,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and executive director. “From improving walkability in neighborhoods to bringing nutrition and cooking curricula into schools, Mayors across the country are designing innovative strategies to make sure our kids understand how to eat healthy and stay active and fit. And our partnership with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, over the past five years, has made a substantial investment in this effort, and been an incubator for the best of those strategies.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. The American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABHFA) seeks to make a significant contribution to the health of local communities, by providing grants to support charitable programs at community organizations that work to advance both the physical health of their local citizens and the environmental health of their communities..

Small City Award

1st Place ($100,000): City of Waterloo, IA – Mayor Quentin Hart
Healthy H2O Loo is a multifaceted initiative including two existing programs: the Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Program at Covenant Clinic offering one-on-one consultation for families to receive education from a dietician. After that consultation, families receive free fruit and vegetable vouchers to be redeemed at local farmer’s markets; the second is the Cedar Valley Blue Zones Project, a community wide wellness program that helps schools and worksites focus on overall wellness. Healthy H2O Loo was established to create a unified and strategic approach to addressing childhood obesity and community wellness. The initiative aims to expand Covenant Clinic’s fruit and vegetable voucher program. Additional goals of the Healthy H2O Loo project are to help every Waterloo School reach Blue Zones Designation through nutrition education, movement breaks, school gardens and healthy snacks. This includes efforts with area Head Start programs to increase physical activity, education on eating healthy, as well as increasing access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Funding will be used to create a curriculum (using farm to school methodologies), and to develop school gardens at the sites. This initiative also aims to establish wellness policies to encourage healthy eating and physical fitness among young people, including a universal messaging campaign to make broad impact throughout the community. 

Learn more by watching the video below: