Aetna Foundation Grants $15K to Support The Children’s Hospital’s ‘Mission Nutrition’

Dec 21 2009
Dateline City:
FT. MYERS, Fla.

In-School Educational Program Raises Awareness of Childhood Obesity

FT. MYERS, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Lee Memorial Health System Foundation today announced it has received a $15,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation that will go to support The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s “Mission Nutrition” program. The program educates local fourth and fifth graders about proper portion size and healthy food choices.

During the 2008-2009 school year, 4,814 fourth and fifth grade students in Lee County, and 2,132 fourth and fifth grade students in Collier County participated in Mission Nutrition. The program sets its goals as:

* Educating children about their body systems;

* Providing important safety, nutrition, and wellness facts to children as per The Sunshine State Standards;

* Increasing children’s knowledge of body mass index, portion control, healthy food choices, and the risks of obesity; and

* Increasing awareness of parents about healthy food choices through letters home and a healthy eating guide

Recent successes via outreach include: Mission Nutrition program was delivered to 6,946 Lee and Collier County students; Parent’s Guide Mission Nutrition (in English and Spanish) was distributed to nearly 7,000 homes; Guide to Good Nutrition (in English and Spanish) was distributed to nearly 7,000 homes; Recipe Book (in English and Spanish) was distributed to nearly 7,000 homes.

The program was recently expanded to also include select summer camps in Lee and Collier Counties.

In addition to the Aetna Foundation grant, Mission Nutrition is supported in part by Publix Super Markets Charities and Colonial Bank, as well as a grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation bringing Mission Nutrition to Title One Schools in Collier County.

Said Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s Director of Child Advocacy Michele King of the grant, “We are deeply grateful to our community supporters as this a critical program for our children. Childhood obesity statistics continue to rise at alarming rates and by educating children early, we hope to form healthy habits that will last a lifetime.”

“The Aetna Foundation is pleased to provide this grant to help support the health and wellness of the children of our community,” said James P. McCunney, vice president of network management for Aetna in Florida. “The Mission Nutrition program delivers a powerful message that may improve the quality of life of many program participants.”

For more information about corporate grant funding for programs at The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, please call the Lee Memorial Health System Foundation office at 239-985-3550.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Founded in 1972, the Foundation helps build healthy communities by promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships and funding initiatives that improve the quality of life where our employees and customers live and work. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $359 million in grants, sponsorships and social investments. Visit www.aetna.com/foundation for more information.

Language:
English

Contact:

Aetna
Walter Cherniak, 410-691-1405

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