The Wellmark Foundation Provides
Funding for Nutrition Improvement Project Focused on Vending
July 8, 2008
(Des Moines, Iowa) – A $105,000 two-year
grant from The Wellmark Foundation will allow the Polk County
Agricultural Extension District to improve community wellness
through a nutrition improvement project focused on vending
The Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey (NEMS) –
Vending will raise community awareness of the nutrition
environment and food availability in vending machines, explains
Susan Klein, nutrition/health field specialist for the Polk
County Agricultural Extension District. “The project
will create and pilot a tool to examine the nutritional value
of food offered in vending environments in six Iowa communities,”
The new tool will be patterned after NEMS, a nationally recognized
survey instrument currently used to measure nutritional value
of food sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants.
According to Klein, this additional NEMS tool focused on vending
machines is needed to achieve a more complete picture of nutrition
in a community, as vending machines often present the only
food source choices in many rural settings and workplaces.
Project strategies include development of an online reporting
process, report card and recognition system to highlight communities
that make significant improvements in their healthy food environments.
Iowa State University Extension will collaborate on the project
by providing regional training on the new tool. For more information
about the Nutrition Environment Measurement Survey (NEMS)
– Vending contact Susan Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 pleased to support this project that will promote improved
nutrition and healthy lifestyles for Iowans,” says McGarvey.
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