The Dannon Company, Inc. awarded its fifth annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants, donating a total of $120,000 to four non-profit organizations in support of their community-based nutrition education programs.
Since the inception of the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant program in 2006, 20 grants - totaling more than $580,000 - have been awarded. Dannon established the grants to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where a Dannon facility is located. To date, the grants have reached nearly 14,000 children and their families.
Through the grants, Dannon aims to provide needed funding for programs that support child health through improved nutrition education. Over the past four years, the grants have produced notable results:
- The 2009 New York grant recipient, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Westchester County, reported cumulative improvements in knowledge of nutrition and gardening among the elementary school students who participated in their Health and Nutrition from the Garden program. Of the elementary school students surveyed, 17 percent increased their knowledge of fruits and nuts and 28 percent increased their knowledge of vegetables and herbs.
- The 2008 Texas grant recipient, United Way of Tarrant County, reported that parents who took part in their Little Bites, Big Steps program showed improved knowledge of portion sizes for their pre-schoolers, and that 80 percent of parents planned to make changes, such as encouraging more exercise, cooking healthy meals and limiting TV time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association report that an unhealthy weight can lead to undesirable physical and mental health consequences, and that overweight or obese children are at a greater risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnea. According to the American Heart Association, the number of children and teens who are obese or overweight has tripled in the past 25 years to one in three.
Dannon's nutrition education grants are integral to Dannon's longtime mission of bringing health through food. As part of the grant program, Dannon contributes $30,000 to four non-profit organizations ($120,000 in total) in Auglaize, Mercer, Darke or Shelby County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, New York, for programs that teach and nurture healthy eating habits among children.
This year's Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant winners are:
- YMCA of Greater Salt Lake (Salt Lake City, Utah) - The YMCA’s Activate America program will work with children and their families to address problems associated with poor nutrition, health and sedentary lifestyles. The program will reach 500 children and their families from the Salt Lake area with a curriculum that emphasizes food preparation, nutrition, teamwork and physical activities.
- Open Door Family Medical Centers (Westchester County, New York) - Open Door's Fit for Life program will reach 2,500 families and their children, ages 5 through 18, who are enrolled in Open Door's school-based health centers in the Port Chester/Rye Union Free School District. The program will create an alliance among youth, parents, teachers, health care providers and community partners in order to teach students and their families how to lead healthy lifestyles and think critically about eating habits and physical activity.
- Tarrant Area Food Bank (Fort Worth, Texas) – Tarrant Area Food Bank’s (TAFB) Operation Frontline will provide more than 360 families in north central Texas with information and hands-on experience for getting the best nutrition possible on a limited budget. The program, which started in 2007, teaches nutrition, cooking, food safety, budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping. TAFB will work in partnership with Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization working to end childhood hunger in America. This is the second consecutive year that TAFB has received Dannon's Next Generation Nutrition Grant, in support of its Operation Frontline program.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County (Minster, Ohio) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County's Healthy Living for a Lifetime will consist of a comprehensive health education curriculum aimed at helping over 600 children and their families learn how to make important decisions about nutrition, physical activity and other areas of health.
'Over the past five years, Dannon has helped to build a foundation for healthy behaviors and will continue to do so,' said Gayle Binney, Dannon corporate responsibility manager. 'By educating children about healthy living, each program funded by Dannon's Next Generation Grants plays a crucial role in reversing unhealthy habits that have become too common. The 2010 grants will reach hundreds of children who directly participate in Dannon-funded programs, and it is our hope that they will have a long-lasting ripple effect on the greater communities.'
'Dannon's nutrition education grants are a key piece in teaching our children about eating well and active lifestyles, helping to lower obesity-related health risks,' said Dr. Nedra Christensen, a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Utah State University.
For more information about the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants please visit http://www.dannon.com/dannoncares.aspx.
About this Year’s Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant Winners
Open Door Family Medical Centers (New York)
Founded in 1972, Open Door was first operated as a free clinic, staffed by nearly 100 local volunteers. Today, a professional staff of more than 60 delivers quality health care at four Open Door health centers in Port Chester, Ossining, Mount Kisco, Sleepy Hollow and four Open Door school-based health centers in Port Chester, at The Edison Elementary School, Kennedy Magnet School, Port Chester Middle School and Port Chester High School
Open Door is a top rated Patient-Centered Medical Home recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a ranking that distinguishes it from medical practices across the nation as less than 12% are presently able to achieve this advanced standing. The federally qualified community health center serves a vast multi-cultural community and has provided top quality medical, dental care and social services to the Westchester community, particularly the economically disadvantaged, for 38 years.
In 2009, approximately 41,000 patients were treated at Open Door, making nearly 200,000 patient visits. Over 13,483 children were treated during that same year. Funding for Open Door Family Medical Centers comes from local, state and federal grants as well as private foundations and individuals.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County (Ohio)
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the oldest, largest and most effective national youth mentoring organization in the United States. The goal of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to facilitate mentoring relationships for adults and youth to learn and grow together in a one-on-one trusting relationship. Ohio has approximately 32 affiliates in the state. Shelby County Big Brothers Big Sisters has been in existence since 1975 with Darke since the early 1990s. Nearly 75 percent of the children who we serve are from low-income families and are considered to be at risk.
Tarrant Area Food Bank (Texas)
Tarrant Area Food Bank, a regional nonprofit in Fort Worth, TX, collects and distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of hunger-relief charities in 13 North Texas counties. Each month, this network of pantries and meals and snack programs distributes emergency groceries to 43,000 families and serves more than 565,000 meals and snacks on charities' sites.
This past fiscal year, ending June 30, 2010, Tarrant Area Food Bank distributed 23 million pounds of perishable and nonperishable food; an amount of food equivalent to nearly 18 million meals. A dollar donated to Tarrant Area Food Bank provides food for four meals.
Founded in 1982, Tarrant Area Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America and serves the counties of Bosque, Cooke, Denton, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.
The YMCA of Greater Salt Lake (Utah)
The YMCA's mission is to provide local communities with programs and services that enhance healthy mind, body and spirit and strive to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.
YMCA of Greater Salt Lake has partnered with Granite School District to create a community-centered space for residents of the City of Taylorsville. The YMCA Community Family Center will enable the YMCA of Greater Salt Lake City to continue to offer high-quality out-of-school programs with expanded hours and offerings; adult programs that center around health and well-being, financial literacy, social stewardship; and community programming that adapts to the needs of its members.
YMCA of Greater Salt Lake City currently operates 20 programs at 18 sites throughout the Granite, Ogden, Salt Lake and Weber School Districts. Together, these programs serve over 2,500 youth and families each year. YMCA Camp Roger has been providing youth (ages 7-17) with opportunities to participate in wilderness adventure, environmental stewardship and leadership since 1948, with more than 600 youth attending each year.
About The Dannon Company, Inc.
The Dannon Company is America's founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT and produces approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, one of the world's leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.
With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging people to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2010, for the tenth year in a row, Danone was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a worldwide reference for socially responsible businesses. Danone is a recognized leader for its contributions to nutrition and health and was ranked best in class in a 2008 JPMorgan & Insight Investment study about the response of the world's largest food companies to obesity and health-related concerns. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company's support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health. For more information, please visit www.dannon.com.