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Wellmark Foundation Awards Grant Funds to Mills County Public Health

Grant, chosen from 112 applicants, helps increase availability of locally grown fruit and vegetables and offers healthy food education

June 30, 2014

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(Glenwood, Iowa) –Today, the Wellmark Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to Mills County Public Health to help fund its initiative, Eat Healthy Mills County. The project aims to increase the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables, and strengthens the existing Farm-to-School project through a mentoring program that partners high school mentors with elementary students.

The Glenwood Giving Garden is another project lead by Mills County Public Health to educate the local youth on healthy eating habits.  The garden, which is run completely by volunteers, provides the community with affordable fresh produce. The grant from the Eat Healthy Mills County
Eat Healthy Mills County is a program to improve the health of the community by increasing the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The project will expand the availability of produce through the Glenwood Giving Garden by implementing a sustainable volunteer recruitment program. This non-profit garden donated over 6,000 pounds of produce to low-income residents during the last growing season. 

“We are so grateful for this Wellmark Grant opportunity,” said Sheri Bowen, Agency Adm. with Mills County Public Health.  “These funds will allow us to implement sustainable improvements to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables in our community. Our goal is to have the “Right Choice be the Easy Choice.”

Additionally, the program will enhance community education regarding healthy food choices through educational presentations at the Giving Garden, the Summer Foods Program at Glenwood Schools, and the YMCA Summer Kids Program.

Grant one of only 19 selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their communities. Through its 2014 Healthy Communities small grant program, the Foundation received 112 grant requests from various organizations seeking support for smaller community health projects. This grant award to Mills County Public Health represents one of 19 competitively awarded grants across Iowa and South Dakota to establish pilot efforts or expand upon current community health initiatives.

The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award a cumulative total of $404,000 to these 19 grant recipients.

“Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is significant in efforts to establish healthy lifestyles and overall wellness,” said Stephanie Perry, The Wellmark Foundation. “We are impressed by the Eat Healthy Mills County project and excited to support a program that provides access to fresh foods and education components on the importance of healthy eating.”

For more information on Eat Healthy Mills County, contact Sheri Bowen at Mills County Public Health at 712-527-9699 or For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, contact Teresa Roof at 515-376-5869.

About The Wellmark Foundation
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation's Web site to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Mills County Public Health
Mills County Public Health is a local Public Health Department serving Mills County, Iowa residents.  Please visit the County’s Web site at to learn more about the organization and their activities.

Wellmark Foundation will support the implementation of a structured volunteer program to support the Giving Garden.


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