The Partnership for a Healthy McLean County coalition’s three-year plan to combat obesity in school-age children has received financial support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The Foundation will provide a first-year award of $87,065, matched by $61,535 from the community, to increase access to physical activity and provide healthier food options and education.

“We are pleased,” Foundation CEO Susan Zepeda noted, “to see the Partnership for a Healthy McLean County move from planning to implementation of this multi-faceted effort to make policy changes that will help McLean County children attain and maintain a healthy weight.”

The health coalition, led by the Green River District Health Department, will work with local schools to implement physical activity and nutrition policy changes, along with programs like the SPARK Curriculum, weekend backpacks with healthier food options, nutrition fairs at school, and a walking club on a newly-built walking track in the McLean County Middle School.

Myers Creek Park will also make improvements to facilitate more physical activity among children and youth. The coalition will work with the schools to strengthen the newly-formed School District Wellness Committee, which is committed to reviewing school health policies and making changes that further encourage increased physical activity and nutrition education.

“This is a great opportunity to integrate some new health focused efforts for the youth of McLean County,” said McLean County Judge-Executive Kelly Thurman. “The ultimate goal is to reduce obesity among McLean county youth and hopefully introduce health behaviors they can sustain for a lifetime.”

Partnership for a Healthy McLean County joins five communities around Kentucky that have been approved for funding. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is investing $3 million over a five-year period to fund communities working to improve the health of their school-aged children through its Investing in Kentucky’s Future initiative.

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