Wellmark Foundation grant
funds childhood obesity program in northeast Iowa
Grant, chosen from 150 requests, targets 15,000 students
in 20 school districts
February 15, 2011
(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Community
Foundation of Greater Dubuque will use a two-year, $149,000
grant from The Wellmark Foundation to implement a childhood
obesity prevention program in six northeast Iowa counties.
Make every choice a healthy choice
Investing in School Wellness and Messaging to Create Healthy
Communities in Northeast Iowa will promote healthy lifestyles
in 20 northeast Iowa school districts. The program will target
15,500 students in grades K-12, their parents, other caregivers
and key school personnel at schools throughout Allamakee,
Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties.
The program, a collaborative effort guided by the Northeast
Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative, aims to reduce childhood
obesity by promoting physical activity, and increasing access
to healthy, locally grown food in the rural six-county area.
- Empowering youth to serve as advocates for health and
- Encouraging northeast Iowa schools to create policies
that indicate preference for procuring local food
- Increasing the number of children who walk or ride bikes
to school by 35 percent
Strategies include developing school wellness teams to drive
policy and practice changes that support wellness for youth,
and implementing a regional multi-media campaign focusing
on making every choice a healthy choice.
Grant one of only 17 competitively selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks
to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their
communities. Through its 2010 Healthy Communities Grant Program,
the Foundation received nearly 150 grant requests. This grant
award to the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is one
of 17 competitively awarded to establish or expand health
initiatives throughout Iowa and South Dakota.
Cumulatively, The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award $1,334,817
to these 17 grants to serve as catalyst funding for local
“The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative has
a strong track record of designing health promotion programs
for rural communities,” says Matt McGarvey, the Foundation’s
director. “Encouraging young people to move more and
eat better can have a significant impact in reducing childhood
For more information on Investing in School Wellness and
Messaging to Create Healthy Communities in Northeast Iowa,
contact Ann Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 563-382-2949. For more information regarding the Wellmark
Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.
About the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative
The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative represents
a coalition of diverse stakeholders focused on creating opportunities
for healthy eating and physical activity in a rural, geographically
spread region. As a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Fitness
Initiative project site, the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness
Coalition is one of the only rural models nationally funded
to prove that strong collaboration can help achieve the vision
of a healthier, more sustainable community.