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Making Sure Kids Lead Healthy Lives

City of Rancho Cucamonga's Healthy RC Kids Partnership receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health grant

By Veronica Potes
Published on LatinoLA: January 15, 2010


Making Sure Kids Lead Healthy Lives


The City of Rancho Cucamonga has been awarded a $360,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to improve opportunities for physical activity and access to affordable healthy foods for children and families throughout the city, with a special emphasis on the southwest area where there is the greatest risk for obesity and the fewest resources to address the problem. Based on a rigorous selection process that drew more than 500 proposals from across the country, Rancho Cucamonga is one of 41 sites selected for the RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative.

Located in the fourth most obese county in the United States, where three out of every four school children do not meet fitness standards, Rancho Cucamonga's health indicators parallel those of San Bernardino County. The City of Rancho Cucamonga through the Healthy RC Kids Partnership presents a unique opportunity to change community systems to "make the healthy choice, the easy choice," by developing common and complementary policies across the major youth-serving institutions in the community and significantly improving opportunities for active living and healthy eating for children and families.

"We envision Rancho Cucamonga as a community where children encounter consistently healthy messages and healthy choices that are easily accessible as they go about their daily activities," said James Troyer, Planning Director for the City and Project Director for the Healthy RC Kids Partnership. "While our target is the entire community, we are placing special emphasis on the southwest area of our community with the highest risk population and fewest resources."

"To reverse this epidemic, communities are going to have to rally around their kids and provide the opportunities they need to be healthy," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Through this project, the City of Rancho Cucamonga and the Healthy RC Kids Partnership are doing what it takes to make sure children lead better lives."

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a $33 million national program and RWJF's largest investment to date in community-based solutions to childhood obesity. With nine Leading Sites chosen in late 2008, the program now spans 50 communities from Seattle to Puerto Rico. All are targeting improvements in local policies and their community environment--changes that research indicates could have the greatest impact on healthier eating, more active living and obesity prevention. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a cornerstone of RWJF's $500 million commitment to reverse the country's childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.

The 40 other cities and regions just announced as Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities sites are:

Benton County, OR
Boone and Newton Counties, AR
Buffalo, NY
Caguas, PR
Charleston, WV
Chattanooga, TN
Hamilton County, OH
Cook County, GA
Cuba, NM
Denver, CO
Desoto, Marshall and Tate Counties, MS
Duval County, FL
El Paso, TX
Fitchburg, MA
Flint, MI
Greenville, SC
Houghton County, MI
Houston, TX
Jackson, MS
Jefferson County, AL
Kane County, IL
Kansas City, MO
Kingston, NY
Knoxville, TN
Lake Worth, Greenacres and Palm Springs, FL
Milledgeville, GA
Milwaukee, WI
Moore and Montgomery Counties, NC
Multnomah County, OR
Nash and Edgecombe Counties, NC
New Orleans, LA
Omaha, NE
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Rochester, NY
San Antonio, TX
San Felipe Pueblo, NM
Silver City, NM
Spartanburg, SC
Watsonville and Parajo Valley, CA

All were selected because of strong vision, partnership and a commitment to make lasting change in their communities. The new program grants will continue through June 2013.

Visit www.healthykidshealthycommunities.org to learn more about these communities' work and plans.

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