Lincoln Parks and Recreation has received a $30,000 grant to help increase access to healthy foods when school is not in session and to improve opportunities for physical activity.
The gift is part of a $2.3 million grant the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) received from the Walmart Foundation to support programs for students when they are not in school.
The grant will help fund Parks and Recreation's "Crunch and Lunch" program. On weekdays from May 28 through August 8, young people can go to community centers for an hour of games and fitness activities followed by a healthy lunch. The meal is courtesy of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.
Crunch and Lunch program locations are:
Grants were awarded to 50 park and recreation agencies. The grant has three main goals:
Grantees also will receive additional support for meals provided through USDA after-school and summer feeding programs as well as nutritional literacy materials. The grant supports NRPA's new campaign, "Commit to Health," which encourages the implementation and evaluation of healthy eating and physical activity standards in park and recreation sites across the country. NRPA's goal is to have at least 2,000 participating sites in five years.
According to the USDA's 2010 Hunger report, 19.5 million low-income children receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year, but fewer than three million of those children participate in the Summer Food Service Program.
Lincoln Parks and Recreation has provided programs for children and youth since the 1940s. For more information about School's Out programs, visit parks.lincoln.ne.gov.
The NRPA is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of roughly 40,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit NRPA.org and parksandrecreation.org