The John Rex Endowment announces the approval of three healthy weight grants totaling more than $525,000. The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, the North Carolina State University Natural Learning Initiative, and WakeMed Health and Hospitals will receive grants for projects that include overweight and obesity prevention strategies focused on policy and environment changes, long-lasting preventive benefits, and wide public impact.
The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education will receive $36,874 for a 12-month project to make necessary repairs and improvements and increase the availability and accessibility of the PlayWELL Park.
The Natural Learning Initiative, an outreach unit of the College of Design at North Carolina State University, has been awarded $423,740 for a three-year project that will address the obesity epidemic in young children attending child care by creating a multidisciplinary intervention to transform child care outdoor learning environments (OLEs) into active, productive best practice demonstrations sites.
WakeMed Health & Hospitals will receive $66,798 that will be administered to Advocates for Health in Action for a one-year project to assess the need and create a plan to improve access to healthy foods in Wake County child care facilities. Advocates for Health in Action will also explore ways to provide an affordable, convenient way for low-income families to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables.
“Children’s activity levels and eating habits are heavily influenced by factors beyond their control,” said Kevin Cain, president and CEO of the John Rex Endowment. “Our investment in various healthy weight projects with specific strategies is founded in the understanding that there is no one single solution to the complex problem of childhood overweight and obesity.”
The John Rex Endowment has invested more than $6 million in the healthy weight of children and youth in Wake County. Grant support has been provided for innovative projects to create environments that encourage healthy choices, improve access to nutritious foods and increase opportunities for physical activity.