Three-year grants support evidence-based prevention projects
The Rapides Foundation has awarded $1.2 million in grants to seven organizations to implement evidence-based programs that prevent and control tobacco use, prevent and reduce obesity, or prevent substance and alcohol use in the region.
The Healthy Behaviors Program Grant is a three-year grant designed to provide residents with opportunities to make healthy choices in their communities.
Grants were awarded to the Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana, Campti Community Development Center, the Cottonport Mayor’s Commission for Women, Food Bank of Central Louisiana, Louisiana Christian University, Town of Bunkie and YWCA Alexandria-Pineville. Grant terms began on July 3.
Tobacco use, substance and alcohol use, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity are directly related to premature death and disability. The Healthy Behaviors Program Grant, which is part of the Foundation’s Healthy Behaviors Initiative, focuses on these behaviors with the goal of having an impact on chronic disease prevention in the region.
Healthy Behaviors Program Grants were open to communities in the Foundation’s nine-parish service area of Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Rapides, Vernon and Winn.
The following Healthy Behaviors Program Grants were awarded:
Boys & Girls Club of Acadiana received a $75,000 grant to develop a cooking program at the club in Natchitoches to increase access to healthier foods and improve interest in eating healthier and leading a healthier lifestyle. With this initiative, youth can use the kitchen to gain skills and learn about cooking and increase physical activity through the Triple Play/Healthy Habits program.
Campti Community Development Center was awarded a $198,000 grant for the Seeds to Success project, which will implement after-school educational opportunities at its no-till organic community garden. The project will engage children and their families in planting, growing and harvesting produce for the community.
The Cottonport Mayor's Commission for Women, in association with the Cottonport Museum & Cultural Center, was awarded a $200,000 grant to support the Cottonport Community Health and Fitness Park, a safe area where families can learn, exercise and play. The park will offer gardening classes and healthy living initiatives, and provide access to adult fitness equipment, a walking track and playground. Educational programs in this space will change patterns of an unhealthy lifestyle by increasing physical fitness and exposing residents to a healthier lifestyle.
The Food Bank of Central Louisiana received a $300,000 grant to reduce barriers for older, low-income adults to access nutritious food. Central Louisiana residents aged 60 and over will have the option to receive a new kind of food box focused on the specific nutritional needs of older adults. The new Senior Nutrition Program will also offer educational opportunities that reflect the health concerns of the region’s older neighbors.
Louisiana Christian University was awarded a $30,000 grant to implement a local Step Up CENLA program to help residents become more physically active. The program provides free workouts and fitness challenges to the community along with educational workshops related to physical activity. The goal is to create a culture in which physical activity is the norm in Central Louisiana.
The Town of Bunkie received a $225,000 grant to expand the Move Bunkie Forward project. The mission of MBF is to build a healthy community by developing, promoting and sustaining healthy lifestyle choices within the community through physical activity, nutritional and educational events in a smoke-free environment.
YWCA Alexandria-Pineville was awarded a $150,000 grant to fund scholarships for Girls on the Run of Central Louisiana participants at high-needs schools. The goal is to expose all girls, regardless of socioeconomic status, to this life-changing program, which teaches girls how to be healthy emotionally and physically.