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Louisville residents of all ages and from throughout the community will benefit from nutritional counseling, exercise classes, learning how to grow fruits and vegetables, training to run races, and the planting of community fruit trees all due to the Mayor's Healthy Hometown Movement. For the eighth year in a row the Mayor's Healthy Hometown grants program today presented awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to 13 local service-oriented organizations committed to making Louisville a healthier city.
In announcing the grants Mayor Greg Fischer said, "One of our top goals is making Louisville much healthier in all ways and it's important to focus on the neighborhood and grass-roots level. We value the work these grass roots organizations are doing in the community. Our goal is to help jump start valuable programming that can then be self-sustaining."
With the help of Department of Public Health and Wellness Director, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Fischer presented checks to grant recipients at a ceremony at Metro Hall.
"Unfortunately one in three Louisville adults is overweight or obese. Twenty-five percent of our adults still smoke and our rate of deaths for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are higher than the death rates for Kentucky and the U.S. It takes the work of ALL of us – organizations like these, businesses, educational institutions, government – to make Louisville a healthier city."
Since 2005, the Mayor's Healthy Hometown Movement has awarded nearly a half million dollars in grants to almost 100 community groups. Last year, 18 organizations received a total of $50,000.
Healthy Hometown grants have been used to develop programs for all ages and families including cooking classes, community garden development and distribution, physical activity sessions and building exercise into core educational and recreational programming.
Organizations receiving 2012 grants are:
American Business Club (AMBUCS) $3,000 Funds will be used for the AmTryke Program, an initiative that provides therapeutic bikes to children and adults who cannot ride traditional bikes due to disabilities. Events include bike rides and bike classes for recipients.
Bates Community Development Corporation $3,000 Funds will be used for a 12-month Healthy Hearts Initiative in the Shelby Park neighborhood with nutrition and physical activity components for participants of all ages.
Community Farm Alliance $3,000 Funds will be used for monthly community cooking events in underserved areas using locally grown food.
FEAT of Louisville $3,000 Funds will be used for physical activity programming and counseling for children with autism.
Food Literacy Project $3,000 Funds will be used for scholarships to students for farm visits and agriculture education.
Gutermuth Elementary PTA $3,000 Funds will be used for the Gutermuth Cross Country and Running Program and to provide receive shoes, uniforms, and entrance fees for those who can't afford them.
Girls on the Run Louisville $2,292 Funds will be used for a 5K training and character building among young women and culminate in fall and spring racing events.
Lighthouse Promise Inc. $3,000 Funds will be used for the "Get Up and Stretch" Exercise Program and "Culinary Arts Program" for youth ages 12 to 18.
New Roots Inc. $1,000 Funds will be used to support bi-weekly Fresh Stops of local produce in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food as well as classes on healthy cooking and food justice.
Oak and Acorn Inc. $2,700 Funds will be used for three 10-week sessions of a Certified Arthritis Exercise Program for seniors living at Oak and Acorn in the Russell neighborhood.
Portland Orchard Project $2,500 Funds will be used for phase two of a community orchard in the Portland neighborhood -- Constructing raised beds for gardening, planting berry bushes and more trees, and adding bees to the orchard. There will also be agriculture and preservation classes held at the orchard. Phase One was clearing/cleaning the lot, planting foliage, and 60 fruit trees.
MOLO Village Community Development Corporation $3,000 Funds will be used for a six month healthy eating and physical activity program all residents in the Russell/Beecher Terrace community.
Squallis Puppeteers $2,508
Funds will be used to teach healthy eating choices to elementary school students.