County gets grant to fight obesity

County gets grant to fight obesity

December 11th, 2009 by Matt Wilson in Shape

Hamilton County commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to accept a $360,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce childhood obesity.

Hamilton County will provide a 50 percent match for the four-year grant, which complements County Mayor Claude Ramsey's Step One program encouraging exercise and nutrition.

"We'll do that (match) with some cash donations," Mr. Ramsey said. "The sources of that cash (are) the Benwood Foundation, BlueCross (BlueShield of Tennessee), Volunteer State Health Plan, Americhoice and the Junior League of Chattanooga. So there'll be no additional funds from Hamilton County's budget."

Mr. Ramsey said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wants to announce the grant formally along with 40 others in January.

"The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, through its Step ONE program, seeks to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to target children and families residing in the Eastside and Southside communities," states the resolution passed by commissioners.

The grant is part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program, which aims to "support healthy eating and active living," according to its Web site.

The grant goes into effect Tuesday.