Louisiana 4-H receives Walmart grant

Bruce Schultz, Holston, Denise, Hebert, Lanette G.  |  9/13/2011 7:24:32 PM

News Release Distributed 09/13/11

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter 4‑H program has received a second consecutive Walmart grant for teaching healthy living choices to youngsters.

Louisiana is among 15 state 4‑H organizations to be approved for funding by the Walmart Foundation’s Youth Voice: Youth Choice grant program. Louisiana was among those receiving the first grant in 2009.

Louisiana received $55,000, according to Lanette Hebert, LSU AgCenter 4‑H regional coordinator. The program will use $30,000 to fund parish-based programs throughout the state to teach the importance of exercise and good diets. The rest of the money will be used for state and regional events, such as challenge camps and fitness programs at summer camp.

Parish 4‑H programs will be able to submit local proposals until Sept. 23, Hebert said.

Programs previously funded by the grant included school gardens, after-school nutrition and cooking classes, Food and Fitness Camp, organizing fitness clubs and developing canoe and hiking trails.

More than 5,000 children participated in the programs statewide, with help from 367 adult volunteers, Hebert said.

“With Louisiana rated as one of the unhealthiest states, the 4‑H program is basing the grant efforts on one of its founding principles,” Hebert said. “Through educating and empowering youth, the hope is that these youth will educate their families and others.”

Funding was based on a state 4‑H program’s ability to reach low-income and minority children.

The program will reach children who don’t get important diet and exercise guidelines at home, said LSU AgCenter instructor Denise Holston, who made the grant application to Walmart with Hebert.

“Through this grant funding, youth across the state will be engaged in activities and exposed to nutritious foods that promote healthy lifestyles,” Holston said. “In some cases, these youth might not have these opportunities.”

LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil said he was pleased that the grant has been awarded again. “There is no better way to address Louisiana’s childhood obesity challenge than through 4‑H youth development programs.”

The healthy living programs will have an impact, Coreil said. “With more than 250,000 youths participating in 4‑H, these Walmart grant funds will go a long way helping us reach out across all regions with healthy-lifestyle programs that can and will make a difference.”

Bruce Schultz
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