Together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (CDCFoundation) and the American School Health Association (ASHA), the food giant will supply mini-grants to elementary schools in order to increase physical activity and improve nutrition.
Schools can use the mini-grants to implement components of their overall health programs, such as building walking tracks, improving physical education curricula, or increasing healthy food choices in lunchrooms and classrooms.
"Cargill is committed to supporting innovative programs that help children develop positive, lifelong nutrition and physical fitness habits," saidMichelle Grogg, director of corporate contributions for Cargill.
"We know schools in our communities are working hard to educate students about these important issues but have very limited resources. Cargill is pleased to partner with the CDC Foundation, CDC and ASHA to support these activities."
This mini-grant program is made possible by a $300,000 grant from Cargill tothe CDC Foundation. ASHA recruited health and education experts to reviewthe applications and select the final 47 grantees from almost 600applicants.
School health experts from CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health will provide technical assistance to the grantees to help them effectively implement improvements.
According to CDC, the number of overweight adolescents in the United Statestripled between 1980 and 2002. Today, 17 percent of U.S. children and teensare overweight.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of manydiseases and health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, heartdisease and some cancers.
"The US obesity epidemic is not just a problem for the health care system," said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.
"The problem of obesity affects families, schools, employers and entirecommunities and must be addressed through partnerships that combine thestrengths of the public, private and non-profit sectors. We are proud topartner with Cargill, the American School Health Association and CDC to helpyoung people live healthier, longer lives."
Mini-grants from the CDC Foundation will help make important improvements tophysical activity and nutrition policies and programs at the following 47elementary schools.