City Receives $700K W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant To Continue To Support Community Health, Wellness In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that City of New Orleans has received a $700,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to continue support community health and wellness. This grant will specifically fund a partnership between the City of New Orleans Health Department’s FIT NOLA initiative, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), the New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation, Market Umbrella, Louisiana Public Health Institute and community wellness programs through 2018. City officials said the “FIT NOLA Live Well” program will improve health outcomes for vulnerable families by connecting them with free fitness programming at NORDC parks and with local farmers markets where they can receive vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables.

         “Health and wellness initiatives remain a top priority across our community,” said Mayor Landrieu. "I am grateful that W.K. Kellogg Foundation is supporting this innovative, cross-sector program. The Foundation remains committed to keeping our community healthy, safe and just. This partnership will help us address our physical activity and healthy eating goals in advance of the City’s 300th anniversary in 2018.”

         City officials said this grant builds upon lessons learned from an innovative three-year pilot that relied on community clinic doctors dispensing “prescriptions” that could be redeemed at farmers markets for fresh fruit and vegetables and “prescriptions” that could be redeemed at NORDC Fit NOLA Parks for free fitness classes.

         Community wellness programs at clinics and other sites will refer patients in disease management groups to Fit NOLA Live Well. Participants will get a NORDC key card that will be their portal to fun, free, fitness activities at 12 NORDC recreation centers, 12 summer and three year-round pools, as well as several playgrounds. They will also have the opportunity to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables at six farmers markets across the City, which will benefit the children and other members of patients’ household.

         Since 2010, the City of New Orleans has invested $160 million to refurbish or replace recreation centers, swimming pools, playing fields and playgrounds.

         Christy Slater, WKKF program officer, said, “The Kellogg Foundation is proud to support this partnership. Access to good food and wellness programs give New Orleans' communities the healthy foundation its children and families need to thrive."

         WKKF has been investing in the City of New Orleans since 1942. Since 2010, the Foundation supported key initiatives led by the City of New Orleans including the NOLA FOR LIFE strategy, the Economic Opportunity Strategy and #EquityNewOrleans in addition to dozens of other community based organizations.

         Charlotte Parent, New Orleans Health Director, said, “This initiative is an example of how partnership can help solve some of our biggest public health challenges. FIT NOLA at NORDC is an effective way for us to engage the community and promote our wellness goals.”

         Byron C. Williams, NORDC Commission Chair, said, “The NORD Commission is dedicated to the well-being of our residents through the effective management of an array of athletic and cultural programs in our new and refurbished recreational facilities. Through the community partnerships supported by this grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation, our children will have a healthier start and will benefit from a lifetime of better living.”

         Louis Lauricella, NORD Foundation Chairman said, “We are deeply grateful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for this significant funding to leverage the first-class recreation assets built by the City of New Orleans and the fitness programs developed by NORDC into powerful tools for improving community health. With these funds, we are able to revive this terrific partnership and advance the good work of the 2012-2015 FIT NOLA Parks and Prescriptions Pilot, which was supported by Chevron and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. We thank Chevron, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the National Recreation and Parks Association, and Troops for Fitness, a Coca-Cola Foundation program, for joining the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as supporters of this endeavor.”

         Kate Parker, Market Umbrella Executive Director, said, “With a culture that loves food, people, and good times, we have the opportunity to bring them all together in a healthy way. Linking farmers markets, community clinics and public parks helps us improve the lives of New Orleanians and their families.”

         Joseph Kimbrell, CEO of the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), said, “This significant investment by the WK Kellogg Foundation in the Fit NOLA Live Well program demonstrates that they are committed to advancing the health equity in the communities we serve. We’re proud to have been involved with the inception of Fit NOLA Parks in 2012 and are excited to continue partnering to create avenues for better health outcomes for our residents.”

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