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The Dannon Company Awards Third Annual 'Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants' In Support Of Childhood Nutrition Education

Submitted by: Dannon Company, The

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Health & Wellness

Posted: Aug 12, 2008 – 02:08 PM EST


$120,000 to Help More than 6,000 Youth in New York, Ohio, Texas and Utah

Aug. 12 /CSRwire/ - WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - August 12, 2008 - The Dannon Company, Inc. awarded its third annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants donating $120,000 to four nonprofit organizations in support of community-based childhood nutrition education programs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12 million children in the U.S. are overweight or obese . Over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for pre-school children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. Through the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants, Dannon aims to provide needed funding for programs that promote childhood nutrition in local communities to help combat this national epidemic.

The Dannon Company established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants in 2006 by contributing up to $30,000 to each of four nonprofit organizations (up to $120,000 total). The Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants recognize programs that nurture healthy eating habits among children in each of the communities where a Dannon facility is located, in White Plains, NY; Minster, OH; Fort Worth, TX; and West Jordan, UT. The 2008 Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant winners include:

  • Westchester Community Opportunity Program (Westchester County, NY) – As the largest provider of pre-school programs in Westchester County, the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP) will implement the Here's to Your Health program in 25 of its Head Start/Day Care centers. Each WestCOP Head Start center will engage children up to five years-old and their parents with hands-on educational tools and activities. Programs, held in English and Spanish, will teach children and their families about self-esteem, cooperation, safety, nutrition, cooking, good eating habits and the importance of physical activity.

  • The United Way of Tarrant County (Ft. Worth, TX) – The United Way of Tarrant County received the Dannon Next Generation Grant in support of its Little Bites, Big Steps preschool nutrition education program. The United Way and its partner, KERA, is helping parents and caregivers understand their role in promoting healthy eating in preschool children through educational programs. Little Bites, Big Steps introduces community members to concepts, such as family style meals, healthy snacks and age-appropriate fitness activities.

  • The Council on Rural Services (Minster, OH) – The Council on Rural Services' In the KNOW program will engage children, parents and the communities of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby Counties in interactive programs that encourage physical activity and promote proper nutrition. The Council on Rural Services will collaborate with other community organizations to reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The program will consist of a comprehensive curriculum for children and their families including a 5-week summer program to teach children how to prepare easy and healthy meals; 1 hour parent workshops quarterly to teach parents how to purchase healthier food on a budget; family fun day/night activities; and nutrition and physical activity kits including monthly newsletters, online resources, and local community event guides.

  • Primary Children's Medical Center (West Jordan, UT) – The Primary Children’s Medical Center will host nutrition-related classes and activities throughout the year to teach children important healthy skills, such as label reading, making proper food choices at school, avoiding common unhealthy pitfalls and fitting activity into their daily life. The nutrition education program will serve 135 children and their families in Salt Lake County, with approximately 35 percent of the participants expected to come from low-income households and be eligible for a scholarship to the program.

"Dannon established the Next Generation Nutrition Grants to help combat the obesity epidemic in our country," said Gayle Binney. "Collaborating with local nonprofits that understand the unique challenges faced by each county is key to helping improve communities’ nutrition and lifestyle choices. We are excited to continue our commitment to improve children's nutrition and support local community organizations through our third annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants."

Since inception of the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant program in 2006, Dannon has awarded twelve Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants totaling more than $340,000 in support of improving nutrition education in its local communities. As a result of Dannon's Next Generation Nutrition Grants, the 2006 recipients reported that programs are making a positive impact on local communities, with children who participated in grant-supported programs notably increasing their physical activity levels and consuming more fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy. For example, the 2006 grant recipient in Utah, Utah State University 4-H Youth Development, will present their results at the upcoming American Dietetic Association meeting later this year.

"The parents and siblings of the participants in our program were instrumental in encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. We found that the health of the whole family was improved by participating in this program. They encouraged each other in making healthy lifestyle choices in both exercise and food selection." said Kathy Brieger, RD, Vice President, Quality Services, of Hudson River Healthcare, the 2006 New York winner.

"Based on the results of the programs we've funded, family and community involvement makes a difference in the success rate of programs like this," said Gayle Binney, Manager, Corporate Responsibility for The Dannon Company.

For more information on the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant or to see the full results of the 2006 Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant recipients, please visit www.dannon.com.

About Westchester Community Opportunity Program
Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. (WestCOP) is the largest private multipurpose social service agency non-profit in Westchester and Putnam counties. WestCOP operates over 70 community programs with the aim to combat poverty and its adverse effects Westchester and in New York. These programs include over 30 Day Care / Head Start centers and Community Action Programs (CAPs) as well as Food pantries and surplus food distribution centers. In addition WestCOP also offers programs that focus on substance abuse, family living, homeless prevention and assistance, energy conservation & weatherization programs and numerous employment and training programs. For more information on WestCOP, visit http://www.westcop.org.

About the United Way of Tarrant County
Established in 1922, United Way of Tarrant County is committed to serving individual needs while also making long-term changes in community conditions. In addition to maintaining a safety net of essential services, United Way is creating strategic new partnerships to tackle major community issues, such as childhood obesity, child abuse and neglect, early learning and development, senior isolation and adult literacy. United Way collaborates with other non-profits, businesses, government, schools, and faith-based organizations to make concrete, measurable improvements in Tarrant County. For more information on the United Way, visit http://www.unitedwaytarrant.org/home/index.htm.

About the Council on Rural Services
The Council on Rural Services aims to provide comprehensive education and support to individuals and families of all ages and economic backgrounds. They operate Kids Learning Place Educational Centers for children, Early Learning Initiative, Head Start, Early Head Start and Help me Grow. Other programs include Gateway Adolescent Programs, Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs and other programs specifically targeted for the "baby boomer age." The Council on Rural Services serves Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Preble Shelby and Van Wert counties of Ohio. For more information on the Council on Rural Services, visit http://www.councilonruralservices.org.

About Primary Children's Medical Center
Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) is a non-profit medical center owned by Intermountain Healthcare. Located in Salt Lake City, UT, PCMC is licensed for 252 beds, has 40 pediatric specialty clinics and more than 60 medical specialties and subspecialties. PCMC has a 95-year history of charitable medical care for children. Clinical Nutrition, a PCMC department, administers the LiVe Healthy Habits for Kids program. In 2007, PCMC provided $8.6 million in charity care. For more information about PCMC, visit http://intermountainhealthcare.org/xp/public/primary.

About The Dannon Company, Inc.
The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT and produces approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is a subsidiary of Groupe Danone, one of the world's leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.

With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging healthy eating and healthy living. Groupe Danone is a recognized leader for its contributions to nutrition and health and was ranked best in class in a 2008 JPMorgan & Insight Investment study about the response of the world’s largest food companies to obesity and health-related concerns. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health. For more information, please visit www.dannon.com.

For more information, please contact:

Beth Keith Edelman
Phone: (212) 704-4545
Amy Sarno Edelman
Phone: (212) 704-8192

For more from this organization:

Dannon Company, The


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