Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA) announced during the 90th Annual USCM Winter Meeting the winners of the 2022 Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards, granting $745,000 to nine U.S. cities. Since the beginning of their decade-long partnership, USCM and ABFHA have jointly awarded more than $5 million to more than 60 cities across the country to support programs to enhance health, wellness and environmental quality of life for children and families.
This year’s first place winners include: Denver, Colo.; Des Moines, Iowa and White Plains, N.Y. In Denver, Food Matters: Solutions for Food Waste Reduction project seeks to address food security and environmental sustainability in the city. In Des Moines, the Polk County Produce Prescription Program (PCPPP) ensures food-insecure children with diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, can access free fruits and vegetables. In White Plains, the Peer Advocates for Healthy Living (PAHL) initiative brings together high school youth to become community leaders in nutrition and other aspects of healthy living.
“America’s beverage companies believe strongly in the power of industry and government coming together to improve the environmental health and well-being of the communities which we serve,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association and president of the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA) Board of Directors. “Now, more than ever, the work our nation’s mayors are doing to help foster healthy communities is critically important. We are proud to partner with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to support programs that advance better way solutions to address some of our toughest societal challenges while making a meaningful impact.”
“Over the last decade, the Conference’s partnership with the ABFHA Foundation has made it possible for dozens of cities across the country to innovate when it comes to improving health and wellness for children and families. The nine cities winning awards this year demonstrate the continued leadership mayors are showing to create healthier cities. For mayors, these issues are deeply personal to our communities, and we look forward to continuing this work for years to come,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of USCM.
The nine U.S. cities receiving 2022 grant awards are:
- Des Moines
- Montgomery (AL)
- Bridgeport (CT)
- White Plains (NY)
- Salisbury (NC)
- Daytona Beach
Brief descriptions of each winning program can be found below:
- Denver, CO (Environmental Health & Sustainability: $250,000) – DDPHE’s Food Matters: Solutions for Food Waste Reduction is an innovative two-part project that aims to address both environmental sustainability and food insecurity. The program will teach Denver residents to make full use of the food they purchase and consume and incentivize local restaurants to donate surplus food to those in need.
- Orlando, FL (Hybrid: $50,000) – The City of Orlando PKZ Youth Beekeeper Training Program, founded in 2019, is a 12-month beekeeper training program for young people from Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood. Upon successful completion, students receive a beekeeper certification provided by the City of Orlando. Student participants gain work experience, earn a small salary ($10/hour) and learn a new skill.
- Baltimore, MD (Hybrid: $15,000) – Healthy Roots & Community Connections Baltimore will provide city public schools that have a demonstrated interest in outdoor and environmental education with support to build, enhance, use and maintain outdoor learning spaces while incorporating programming around gardening, cooking, composting and other aspects of health, sustainability and resilience.
- Des Moines, IA (Childhood Obesity Prevention: $175,000) – the Polk County Produce Prescription Program (PCPPP) will connect food-insecure children with diet-related diseases (diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, etc.) and their families to medical providers that write prescriptions for free fruits and vegetables, while delivering nutrition education and collecting and monitoring biometrics on a routine basis.
- Montgomery, AL (Hybrid: $50,000) – Clearer Path Gardening is a hybrid of childhood prevention activities and environmental sustainability initiatives. This program will build gardens and food forests to specifications determined by the community to facilitate outdoor exercise and recreation.
- Bridgeport, CT (Hybrid: $15,000) – the 7 Minutes to Health @ The Park Challenge will build upon Bridgeport’s existing park and public health resources by developing state-of-the-art outdoor fitness facilities in two of its largest outdoor spaces, Seaside and Beardsley Parks. The overarching goal of this initiative is to provide free outdoor exercise options for Bridgeport residents of all ages.
- White Plains, NY (Hybrid: $125,000) – Peer Advocates for Healthy Living (PAHL) will recruit 40 high school youth who will undergo rigorous 12-week (36-hour) training in nutrition; healthy cooking on a budget; barriers to achieving health (emotional, social, and/or physical); and public speaking and presentation skills.
- Salisbury, NC (Childhood Obesity Prevention: $50,000) – the 5-2-1-0 Prescription Program is designed to improve families’ health through targeted messaging that promotes a healthy lifestyle, such as daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, less screen time, more physical activity, and increased consumption of water. Staff will assess a patient’s lifestyle vital sign using the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Habits Survey, write a 5210 prescription and make referrals for patients and their families to fill their prescription(s).
- Daytona Beach, FL (Childhood Obesity Prevention: $15,000) – The Mayor’s Math & Fitness Boot Camp will expose approximately 400 children, ages 5-14, to age-appropriate grade-level programs that use exercise and dance to teach mathematics. The children will be given motivational lessons that promote self-esteem, boost confidence, and help participants reflect on and monitor their choices for healthy living.