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The Wellmark Foundation Supports School Concession Stand Project to Improve Nutrition, Prevent Childhood Obesity

July 8, 2008

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Contact:
Angela Feig
515.245.4551
feigab@wellmark.com

(Des Moines, Iowa) – The University of Iowa Foundation received a $87,278 grant from The Welllmark Foundation to implement a school-based nutrition improvement project designed to prevent childhood obesity. The University of Iowa College of Medicine and College of Public Health, including the Prevention Research Center, will collaborate with the Muskie Booster Club and the Muscatine Community School District to improve concession stand offerings at sporting events.

Child Obesity Prevention: Improving the Nutritional Environment at School Sporting Events will work with the Muskie Booster Club to improve healthy food options at all school-based concession stands in the district, explains Helena Laroche, M.D., Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine. “Child Obesity Prevention will strive to positively impact the health status of students and fans in the Muscatine area by providing more healthy food options at school events,” says Laroche. The project will also study different healthy food items to learn which ones are popular and profitable for concessions stands to sell. The long-term goal of the project is to increase the availability of healthy foods sold at school events in communities throughout Iowa.

The 18-month project will evaluate current food offerings, identify barriers to healthy options, design and test healthy menus, and implement new offerings. An evaluation of the sales and profitability of new offerings will be conducted, and a detailed how-to guide based on findings will be created and distributed to other community groups.

Various local food distributors will also collaborate on this project to create healthy food solutions in the school district. For more information on Child Obesity Prevention: Improving the Nutritional Environment at School Sporting Events, contact Helena Laroche at Helena-laroche@uiowa.edu or 319-338-0581.

The Wellmark Foundation has provided nearly $14.7 million to fund 406 health-related grants in Iowa and South Dakota since 1997, including $1,739,233 this cycle. “The Wellmark Foundation collaborates with non-profit and governmental organizations in Iowa and South Dakota to positively impact the health outcomes of individuals and communities in our states,” says Matthew McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation. “We are happy to fund this project that will combat childhood obesity by increasing healthy food options at school events.”

The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Due to the Foundation’s recent significant support toward disaster relief efforts, the timeline for the second 2008 community responsive grant cycle has been modified. Letters of Interest (LOIs) are now due on September 23, 2008. Learn more about this funding opportunity during a grant applicant teleconference on July 21, 2008. For teleconference and LOI details, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.wellmark.com/foundation. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

 


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