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Louisville Awarded $7.9 Million Grant

Friday March 19, 2010

Louisville Awarded $7.9 Million Grant

To Help Improve City’s Collective Health

 

Louisville’s efforts to make the city more healthy — which have ranged from implementing a smoking ban to adding bike lanes to streets — are being recognized by the federal government, which today announced a $7.9 million grant to help the city achieve its health goals.


The grant will fund 23 city-wide projects that will, among other things, make healthier foods available in schools, will assist students to grow produce, will build community infrastructure to encourage biking and walking, and will make fresh produce more readily available by implementing “Healthy in a Hurry” stores in underserved neighborhoods.

When we merged city and county governments in 2003, I looked around our community and noticed major health problems,” Abramson said “We were breathing bad air and eating bad food.  We were overweight and were smoking too much.  So we implemented the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction program, passed the smoking ban and created the Mayor’s Health Hometown Movement.  All of that has contributed to Louisville becoming a healthier place.”

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness will administer the grant, announced today in Washington DC by First Lady Michelle Obama.

“Wellness initiatives are all about encouraging Louisvillians to take more responsibility for their health, reducing risk factors like obesity and tobacco use that lead to chronic illness and disease,” Congressman John Yarmuth said. “By supporting these efforts, this Recovery Act funding will go a long way toward building on the good work of Mayor Abramson and Dr. Troutman to curb the preventable illnesses that affect all our families and contribute to higher health care costs for everyone.”

The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and funded by the federal stimulus program. About $373 million in Communities Putting Prevention To Work grants are being awarded to 44 cities across America.

“This grant will allow us to continue the work we have begun to make Louisville citizens healthier, to reduce childhood obesity and to reduce the burden of chronic disease in our community,” Health and Wellness Director Dr. Adewale Troutman said, “We will be implementing proven strategies to make healthier food choices more readily available and to give people more chances to be physically active in a safe environment.”


The community projects funded by the grant will to:

 

  • Change procurement policies to improve access to local food across educational and local government institutions.

 

  • Increase student participation in National School Breakfast and Lunch Program.

 

  • Increase affordability and availability of fresh food through corner stores in underserved neighborhoods.
  • Expand capacity of local food distribution points
  • Support the development of neighborhood-based projects that produce and sell local food products in “food deserts”
  • Reformulate JCPS recipes to reduce the use of sugar and sodium in line with Institute of Medicine recommendations
  • Increase student input into food and beverage choices for children in school
  • Adopt and implement local “menu labeling” policies for establishments that sell prepared food 
  • Conduct “Food Fight” social marketing campaign
  • Standardize breastfeeding policies across Louisville’s birthing hospitals and increase support for breastfeeding
  • Implement Louisville Metro Government workplace breastfeeding policies
  • Improve physical education in schools (K-12)
  • Revise and further implement Wellness Policies in JCPS to increase physical activity and improve physical education in schools.
  • Standardize physical activity in Jefferson County Public School’s school-based afterschool programs
  • Increase access to Louisville Metro Parks and Louisville Loop
  • Enhance infrastructure to support bicycling and walking
  • Increase access to Louisville Metro Parks and Louisville Loop using public transit
  • Implement Health Impact Assessment as part of existing development review process
  • Increase public safety measures in Metro Parks and Louisville Loop
  • Improve community policing in targeted communities
  • Institute an Advisory Council on Food Policy
  • Develop a joint Master’s Degree in Public Health and Urban Planning at the University of Louisville
  • Develop a community-wide media campaign to increase physical activity and improve nutrition

To learn more about Communities Putting Prevention to Work, visit www.hhs.gov/recovery and www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery.     ###