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City of Lakeland Receives $25k Grant to Support Local Healthy Out-of-School Time Programs

LAKELAND, FL (JUNE 24, 2017) – The City of Lakeland, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), recently received a $25,000 grant to support its out-of-school time healthy food access and nutritional literacy programs. The gift is part of a $1.5 million grant NRPA received from the Walmart Foundation to support out-of-school time programs in 40 parks and recreation agencies across the country.

The purpose of the grant is to:

  1. Increase the number of healthy meals children in low-income communities receive through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) during out-of-school times
  2. Provide nutrition literacy to children and families that creates behavior change by teaching the importance of healthy eating
  3. Implement nutrition standards that increase access to healthier foods and support a healthy eating environment
  4. Implement meal and program efficiencies that increase community sustainability.

Healthy Foods & Physical Activity

The Parks & Recreation Department’s grant will help increase access to healthy foods and improve opportunities for physical activity. The Parks & Recreation Department will also receive additional support for meals provided through USDA after-school and summer food service programs as well as nutritional literacy materials to help ensure life-long healthy habits for Lakeland’s youth.

Commit to Health Campaign

This grant supports NRPA’s campaign — Commit to Health — which encourages the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites nationwide. NRPA’s goal is to have at least 2,000 participating sites in five years.  Within the first three years of the program, 1,271 sites have pledged to Commit to Health, and over 228,000 children now have improved access to healthy foods and increased opportunities for physical activity. This video highlights Commit to Health’s three-year success.    

No Kid Hungry Campaign

According to Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, 48.8 million Americans, including over 13 million kids, struggle with hunger.  During the school year, over 21 million low-income children receive free or reduced meals to help them meet their daily nutrition needs, but only 3 million of these children receive these meals during the summer.  During summer months, these children may not have access to quality and healthy food to help them grow—making the Parks& Recreation Department’s work during out-of-school times that much more critical.

“Thanks to a successful three years with Commit to Health and the Walmart Foundation, over 228,000 children now have improved access to healthy foods and physical activity,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “Parks and recreation are proving their critical role in the health of their communities and we can’t wait to see the impact this year’s grants will have on fostering life-long healthy habits in children across the country.”

City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation

Pam Page, Deputy Director of the City of Lakeland's Parks & Recreation Department, said, “We believe that the Parks & Recreation Department is responsible to continuously create and promote healthy choices through physical activity and healthy eating. The need for education to promote healthy eating is great and the effect our programs can have on the children we touch is monumental.”

Learn More

To learn more about Commit to Health, visit www.nrpa.org/committohealth.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications