January 20, 2014

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton awards $109,722 to Stark County nutrition-health-fitness program

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton has awarded $109,722 over three years to the Friends of Stark Parks for the Live Well Stark County nutrition-health-fitness program.

Funds will be used to support the program director for Live Well Stark County as the program continues to expand its mission of promoting policy and environmental changes that impact the health of Stark County residents.

The Stark County Park District has been an active partner in the collaborative and Nick Morris, former Stark Parks education manager, will be the designated administrator to help drive projects, build program sustainability and nurture the partnerships that hold the collaborative together.

"Children and families who are inactive or underactive and those who are undernourished can now be assisted with health improvement opportunities," said Morris.

"Subcommittees have already provided marketing materials for bicycle riding and walking safety and supported a community garden project to strengthen gardens and introduce nutrition programming into their missions. This grant will allow us to develop Live Well Stark County's infrastructure to better promote healthy lifestyles."

Sisters of Charity Foundation President Joni Close said, "The alliance that the Foundation formed with other Live Well Stark County collaborative members has helped us move forward on one of our long-term strategic goals, reducing childhood obesity. To that end, Live Well Stark County's Community Garden Grant Program worked well. While the foundation provided the initial funding, fellow Live Well members devoted countless staff hours to helping us develop guidelines, review applications and visit garden sites to support grantees."

"Because these individuals and the organizations they represent played an integral role in planning and implementing the program," she added. "They have a stake in its future and will work to ensure its sustainability. Now, with a director in place, we hope to build on this program and hopefully, replicate other programs focused on healthy lifestyles."

Live Well Stark County is a collaboration of community partners across Stark County, promoting nutrition and physical activity programs. The group works to make Stark County healthier by promoting policy and environmental changes that focus on preventing chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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