The Food Trust Gets $5 Million to Help Philly Youth Be Healthy

The grant will give 50,000 kids better access to healthy food and exercise.

Photo via Facebook | Norris Square Neighborhood Project

Photo via Facebook | Norris Square Neighborhood Project

Philly is no stranger to the term food desert, but, as of this morning, The Food Trust is one step closer to making healthy food accessible to everyone in the city: This morning, Get HYPE Philly!, a collective of 10 non-profits led by The Food Trust, was granted $5 million by GSK to kick off a handful of initiatives all aimed at giving 50,000 Philly kids, particularly middle schoolers and high schoolers in North Philly, better access to healthy food and exercise.

Here’s what the three-year, $5 million grant will go toward: Expanding youth community gardens, which provide kids with the know-how they need to grow and sell their own food and educate others on the values of healthy eating; placing 1,000 youth leaders in 100 schools, who will promote wellness by working with corner stores to market healthy food to youth, starting school gardens and selling their harvests at school farm stands, launching physical activity clubs, and more; hosting youth leadership summits where youth leaders can share their strategies for engaging their peers in wellness initiatives; granting mini-grants to teen-created healthy projects; implementing youth leadership programing along with city-wide out-of-school healthy-eating and fitness activities in the non-profits that make up Get HYPE Philly!; and more.

So, in short, the $5 million will go toward putting healthy food in front of Philly middle schoolers and high schoolers, and getting them moving. Because, as Donna Altenpohl, vice president of US public policy for GSK, said in a press release regarding the grant, “Healthy communities are the backbone of strong sustainable societies.” Hear, hear.

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