Kansas City Parks and Recreation in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), has received a $ 30,000 grant to support its out-of-school time healthy food access and nutritional literacy programs. The gift is part of a $2.3 million grant NRPA received from the Walmart Foundation to support out-of-school time programs in 50 park and recreation agencies. The purpose of the grant is to:
- Increase the number of healthy meals children in low-income communities receive through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) during out-of-school times.
- Provide evidence-based, age-appropriate nutrition literacy to children that create behavior change by teaching the importance of healthy eating.
- Implement nutrition and physical activity standards that increase access to healthier foods and increase opportunities for physical activity.
Parks and Recreation grant will help increase access to healthy foods and improve opportunities for physical activity. Grantees will also receive additional support for meals provided through USDA afterschool and summer feeding programs as well as nutritional literacy materials to help ensure life-long healthy habits for Kansas City’s youth.
This grant supports NRPA’s new campaign—Commit to Health—which encourages the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country. NRPA’s goal is to have at least 2,000 participating sites in five years.
According to the USDA’s 2010 Hunger report, 16.2 million American children live in food-insecure households. The same report finds that 19.5 million low-income children receive free or reduced meals during the school year, but fewer than 3 million of these children participate in the Summer Food Service Program. During summer months, these children may not have access to quality food to help them grow—making Parks and Recreation work during out-of-school times that much more critical.
“Across the country, community parks and recreation are a vital health resource for all people,” said Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. “This generous grant from the Walmart Foundation will allow park and recreation agencies to expand the critical work they do to improve quality of life and foster life-long healthy habits among the youth in their communities.”