The Dannon Co., Inc. awarded the YMCA of Greater Salt Lake the sixth annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant in support of Activate America®, a comprehensive health and wellness program designed to reduce childhood and family obesity in Salt Lake County. Dannon presented the YMCA with a $30,000 check at the YMCA Community Family Center in Taylorsville, Utah on the last day of the YMCA's summer camp.
This is the second consecutive year that the YMCA of Greater Salt Lake received the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant for the Activate America® program.
Activate America® works with children and their families to address problems associated with poor nutrition, health, and sedentary lifestyles. The program will reach 500 Salt Lake families, including 600 children, with a curriculum that emphasizes food preparation, nutrition, teamwork, and physical activity. Activate America® creates an individualized path for each participant in order to build a strong foundation for a lifetime of fitness and wellness habits.
"Obesity and diabetes in children is a serious epidemic and Utah is not immune," said Richard West, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Salt Lake in a prepared statement. "The YMCA, with the support of Dannon, is able to engage more youth to learn about nutrition, but more importantly, impact youth so that healthy behaviors become a natural part of their lives with fun ways to stay active and habits that will last a lifetime."
Childhood obesity and associated health issues are a well-documented problem in Utah and across the nation. According to recent data from the Utah Department of Health, one in five elementary school students in Utah maintain an unhealthy weight.
"Utah has long been a leader in the push for better fitness and personal health, yet we must redouble our efforts in light of the rising rates of childhood obesity here and across the country," said Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. "Dannon and the YMCA of Greater Salt Lake deserve our sincere thanks for bringing such outstanding energy to such an important cause as the well-being of our children."
Dannon established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant in 2006 to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where a Dannon facility is located. As part of the program, Dannon contributes $30,000 to four non-profit organizations ($120,000 in total) in Auglaize, Mercer, Darke, or Shelby County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, New York, for programs that nurture healthy eating habits among children.
"The YMCA's Activate America program is perfect for carrying out Dannon's commitment to encouraging children and their families to live healthy lives," said Gayle Binney, Dannon's corporate responsibility 20 manager. "This initiative will reach hundreds of children and their families, resulting in a long-lasting, positive effect on the health of the Salt Lake community. We're happy to be supporting the program for a second, consecutive year."
The event was attended by Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon; former University of Utah basketball star Johnnie Bryant; YMCA of Greater Salt Lake CEO Richard West; Dan Hauser, State Director for U.S. Senator Mike Lee; Donald Adams, Aide to Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall; Tamy Dayley, Senior Financial Analyst at the Governor's Office of Economic Development; Dannon Corporate Responsibility Manager Gayle Binney, and Dannon Senior Plant Director Scott Corsetti.