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Changing the Course of Kid's Health

Statement of Support re: White House Initiative on Childhood Obesity

Attributed to Sterling K. Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The W.K. Kellogg Foundation deeply supports the First Lady's Let's Move challenge to the nation to take action against childhood obesity. We're excited about her personal passion for this work and her commitment to change the course for our nation's children.

We also applaud and are pleased to be part of the efforts to create the Partnership for a Healthier America as it aligns with our knowledge and beliefs about creating a healthier society. This independent, nonpartisan organization will focus on four key goals: offering parents the tools and information they need; getting healthier food into our nation's schools; ensuring that all our families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities; and increasing opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of school. Moreover, this organization will catalyze investments and innovations among the private, nonprofit and public sectors to help lead this movement and to ensure accountability.

The Kellogg Foundation has focused from its inception on children and ensuring their health, happiness and well-being. As far back as the 1930s, our founder, Will Keith Kellogg focused on transforming school food systems by making sure a school lunch program was developed to improve the nutritional status of children. He recognized the importance of fresh food by pushing for farmers markets. He pushed innovations in school recreation -- already knowing what we know now – that physical activity and access to good food is essential to learning and a healthy life.

Efforts like the Partnership for a Healthier America are a strong complement to our ongoing efforts. We will continue to use our resources to innovate, fund and convene partners, and grow through tools like social networking. Together, these will help to make real a difference in the systems, policies and efforts that can help children, particularly vulnerable children, thrive.

In addressing childhood obesity, the Kellogg Foundation continues to work broadly on the full range of social determinants -- such as access to good food and open space, quality education, economic security and safe housing -- specifically as they relate to low-income communities and communities of color who too often carry a disproportionate burden. Ensuring the health and well-being of the whole child is of paramount concern and focus.

We are grateful for the good work of so many who are contributing to this common goal of a new generation of kids who have reversed the trend of childhood obesity and other health and learning disparities. This generation and those that follow will reap a lifetime of rewards.

Momentum is building. On-the-ground work being done today in communities nationwide proves we can achieve success. There, people are demonstrating the ingenuity and determination it takes to make real change. The following list of stories illustrates the work underway.

Holyoke, Mass.


The Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council in western Mass. is taking a variety of approaches to promoting healthful food for the area's residents. Young people, for instance, are shooting video advertisements to promote farmers markets; the ads will be shown in WIC agency waiting rooms. The Policy Council is also supporting the creation of new community gardens in the area and new mobile markets that will bring locally grown produce into the city.

New York, New York


The New York City Food & Fitness Partnership is focused on changing the environments for food and physical activity in Central Brooklyn in ways that can be replicated throughout New York City. It is working to both increase the number of food gardens at schools and foster the infrastructure required to bring more local food into the schools. At the same time, the Partnership aims to boost the number of healthy food outlets in the area to more than four per square mile (up from one to four now).

Seattle/King County, Wash.


In Seattle/King County, Wash. the local Food & Fitness collaborative is engaging youth, community members and experts in a number of efforts to improve access to healthful food and safe physical activity. Working with partners, the collaborative is creating strong ties between urban farms in the Seattle area in an effort to bring more good food into schools, as well as into retail stores in two low-income areas.

Tohono O'Odham Nation, Ariz.


Although the Tohono O'odham Nation (located in south central Arizona on the Mexican border) encompasses an area larger than Conn., there is only one grocery store that regularly carries fresh produce. The Tohono O'odham collaborative is working to increase access to healthful food through schools. By building the infrastructure and capacity for a tribal entity or business to compete successfully for school lunch contracts, the collaborative looks to provide healthy, culturally appropriate foods for tribal youth and further economic development for families.

These grantees join others across the country transforming food and physical activity environments. In addition, the Kellogg Foundation is making focused investments in Michigan, New Mexico and Mississippi.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Food & Community Program

Partnership for a Healthier America

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.

SOURCE W.K. Kellogg Foundation



SOURCE W.K. Kellogg Foundation
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