Building Healthier Communities, One Garden at a Time
According to the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings, more than a third of children ages 10 to 17 in both Tennessee and Louisiana are overweight or obese. Both states rank higher than the national average of 31 percent for these factors.
Whole Kids Foundation and the United Health Foundation recently both announced local community grants totaling $121,000 to 55 school and youth organizations in New Orleans and Memphis to build or expand existing vegetable gardens, salad bars or beehives, and provide educational resources around agriculture, caring for the environment and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Studies show that school gardening, combined with nutrition education or a healthy lunch program encourages healthier food choices, and children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables they have grown themselves. In addition, better awareness and familiarity with growing and preparing meals can help alleviate food insecurity, including food deserts, as well as obesity and diabetes.
The schools and youth organizations in Tennessee and Louisiana are creating a positive environment where young people can make healthy choices that will sustain them for a lifetime. See Our Partners: Whole Kids Foundation to learn more.