USDA AWARDS $5 MILLION IN TEAM NUTRITION TRAINING GRANTS
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2008 -Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today awarded approximately $5 million in Team Nutrition Training Grants to twenty states to help children develop better eating and physical activity habits.
"Team Nutrition provides the opportunity and resources to states, communities, and schools to help provide more opportunities for our children to make healthy lifestyle choices," Schafer said. "Eating a nutritious diet and engaging in daily physical activity will help address the growing problem of childhood obesity."
Team Nutrition is a key component in the efforts of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to provide schools with nutrition education materials for children and parents as well as technical assistance for school food service providers and communities to support healthy eating and physical activity. Team Nutrition activities support two pillars, nutrition and daily physical activity, of the President's HealthierUS Initiative launched in 2002 to help Americans live longer, better, and healthier lives.
The twenty States receiving grants are: Alabama ($111,593), Arizona ($120,702), Arkansas ($222,035), California ($299,956), Idaho ($281,324), Illinois ($200,000), Iowa ($199,975), Kansas ($317,074), Louisiana ($306,110), Maine ($195,206), Maryland ($243,129), Michigan ($349,999), Minnesota ($259,919), Montana ($252,925), New Mexico ($200,000), Pennsylvania ($349,406), Rhode Island ($322,707), West Virginia ($348,537), Wisconsin ($196,652), and Wyoming ($191,370).
During the two-year grant period, the states will provide training and technical assistance to food service staff in the preparation of more fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and other healthier foods. The grants will support efforts to empower students to make healthy choices and to be physically active, and to help schools reach out to parents, teachers, caregivers, and others to capitalize on the positive role-model potential they have on children. States will also encourage elementary schools to take USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge.