Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Dannon Company Awards Second Annual Nutrition Grants

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The Dannon Company, Inc. has awarded the second annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants to address the need for educating children about healthy eating practices and proper nutrition.

The Dannon Company established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants in 2006 to promote childhood nutrition education and provide total funding of more than $100,000 to four nonprofit organizations that operate in communities where a Dannon facility is located. Each organization developed a program that nurtures healthy eating habits among children in the community and encourages children to develop life-long habits for good nutrition and exercise.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, more than quadrupling among children ages 6 to 11, during the past four decades. Today, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents — approximately 25 million — are overweight or obese. Dannon hopes to help curb this trend by supporting youth education programs that provide long-term, grassroots solutions.

Grant winners are:

Westchester County, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Westchester County received $19,500 in support of its program, Shake & Bake in partnership with the White Plains Youth Bureau. CCE aims to improve dietary habits and encourage the adoption of fitness into the daily lifestyle of 75 middle school youth in the White Plains area.

Fort Worth, Texas — United Way of Tarrant County received $26,100 in support of its Little Bites, Big Steps preschool nutrition education program. United Way and its partner, KERA, will address the national problem of preschool children's health and fitness by helping parents and caregivers understand their role in promoting healthy eating in preschool children through educational programming.

Minster, Ohio — The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension in Auglaize County received $29,900 in support of its program, Team Up for Good Nutrition with OSU Extension. The Dannon grant will expand the nutrition education opportunities it provides to youth in Auglaize County and will provide support to OSU Extension’s programs.

West Jordan, Utah — Utah Food Bank Services received $30,000 in support of its Child Health and Nutrition Education Program. Utah Food Bank Services will host nutrition related classes and activities that will be taught at participating Kids Cafe sites and quarterly health fairs to expose children to health lifestyle concepts through visually engaging and activity promoting lesson plans. The nutrition education program will serve about 1,000 low-income, at-risk children in Salt Lake County.

"Through the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants, Dannon is committed to helping people make informed food choices to improve their nutrition and health," said Gayle Binney, manager, Corporate Responsibility for The Dannon Company. "This year, Dannon is also celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Dannon Institute, an independent, nonprofit foundation which promotes the relationship between nutrition and health."

The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT. The company produces and sells approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is owned by Groupe Danone, one of the world's leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging healthy eating and living. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health.

It's great to see Dannon awarding nutrition grants for the second year in a row, and we hope it will be an annual tradition. The company awards grants to worthwhile organizations in and around the communities where it has facilities and employees, which is a nice way of giving back.

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