The Dannon Company Awards Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grants Supporting Children’s Nutrition And Physical Activity
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Dannon Company, Inc. has awarded the 2012 Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grants, donating a total of $120,000 to four non-profit organizations in support of community-based nutrition and wellness programs for children. The grants were awarded throughout the months of August and September, and concluded this week with a final grant presentation in White Plains, NY, home to Dannon’s corporate headquarters.
Since the program began, 28 grants – totaling more than $820,000 – have been awarded to nonprofit organizations for compelling and influential programming aimed at improving children’s health. To date, the grants have reached nearly 30,000 children and their families.
“With such high numbers of children suffering from preventable obesity and related health issues, it is imperative that we help this generation learn about the importance of proper nutrition, physical activity, and healthy life choices,” said Gayle Binney, Dannon corporate responsibility manager. “For 70 years, Dannon has brought health through food to Americans by making delicious yogurt that provides essential nutrients.”
The 2012 Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grant winners are:
- Cook Children’s Health Care System (Fort Worth, Texas) – Cook Children’s Health Care System’s Nutrition University is an eight-week healthy eating and exercise program aimed at changing the nutrition and lifestyle habits of children who are overweight and challenged by obesity. The program, taught by Cook Children’s registered dietitians, features cooking demonstrations, nutrition presentations, and dietitian-led family dinner nights held at community organizations. The 2012 program will impact 600 school-aged children as well as their parents. Dannon’s funding will not only provide support for Nutrition University, but will also provide scholarships for 100 children who might not otherwise be able to participate in this program.
- The Minster Athletic Booster Club (Minster, Ohio) - The Minster Athletic Booster Club’s Minster Memorial Field improvement project, Honoring the Past While Building for the Future, is a program designed to assist the youth of Minster Local Schools in their efforts to maintain personal fitness and healthy living. The program provides the local community with a fully renovated athletic complex, set to open in the fall of 2012. This award builds upon existing nutrition and fitness programs initiated at Minster Local Schools when they partnered with the Auglaize/Mercer County YMCA to receive a Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant® awarded in Ohio in 2006. Today, the Minster Local Schools include healthy meal programs, nutrition label reading, taste tests, and more during the school year to ensure that Minster students know how to build a strong body by eating healthy foods and staying active.
- Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake County, Utah) – Salt Lake Community College (SLCC)’s Know Greater Heroes program seeks to prevent childhood obesity by teaching and promoting healthy behaviors in Salt Lake County elementary schools. Through Know Greater Heroes, SLCC students, athletes and faculty conduct high-energy, fully interactive assemblies at local elementary schools, reaching more than 30,000 students each year. The assemblies feature both fitness components–including performances by the Men’s Basketball and Baseball teams; acrobatic stunts by the SLCC Cheer Squad, Volleyball team and Bruin Bear; and a fitness talent show–as well as an education segment focused on healthy eating and healthy decision-making.
- Family Services of Westchester (Westchester County, N.Y.) – Family Services of Westchester (FSW)’s Healthy Lifestyles initiative will help Westchester families make informed food choices, incorporate exercise into their daily routines, and improve their overall nutrition and health. The program, which will be implemented alongside FSW’s existing early childhood classes, will consist of five components: a revamped exercise curriculum incorporating yoga, Zumba and physical games into the daily classroom; instructional field trips for parents and children to local supermarkets; staff nutrition workshops with a registered dietitian; evening nutrition workshops available in both English and Spanish for parents and caregivers of program participants, and a nutrition guide for each participating family emphasizing the importance of grains, fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy such as yogurt. Healthy Lifestyles will serve 374 pre-school aged children as well as 40 infants and toddlers, and will further impact parents and siblings of participants.
In addition to supporting general nutrition education and healthy lifestyles programming, the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition® Grants promote eating lowfat yogurt as one of up to three recommended daily servings of dairy for children and adults. Bone growth, strength, and lifelong bone health rely, in part, on the regular consumption of nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin D, which can be found in yogurt.
Dannon established the grant program to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where a company facility is located. As part of the grant program, Dannon has contributed $30,000 to four non-profit organizations in Auglaize, Mercer, Darke or Shelby County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, New York. This year, in honor of the company’s 70th anniversary, grant winners were additionally awarded a signature yogurt cup trophy based on the design of an original, vintage Dannon yogurt cup.
Programs funded by Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants have led to increased consumption of lowfat yogurt as well as better overall nutrition and health for children. Awarded a total of $60,000 of Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant funding between 2010 and 2011, Open Door Family Medical Center in New York has shared the benefits of many different foods, including lowfat yogurt, with children enrolled in their Fit for Life program. Open Door health educators demonstrated healthy eating alternatives such as salad and yogurt in the school cafeterias and have seen daily purchases of these foods increase over the past five years to 11-15% of all school lunch purchases.
Students who have participated in educational sessions with Open Door health educators have demonstrated a 70 – 90% increase in their knowledge of healthy eating practices. Additionally, 11.9% of the students who started the school year classified as clinically obese have improved their weight during the school year so that they no longer considered obese.
For more information about Dannon’s corporate responsibility please visit http://www.dannon.com/dannoncares.aspx.
About The Dannon Company, Inc.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2012 and headquartered in White Plains, New York, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR. Dannon makes more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated and frozen dairy products to serve its retail and foodservice customers. In its pursuit to bring health through food to as many people as possible, Dannon is committed to Americans enjoying yogurt every day as one of the three recommended daily servings of dairy.
Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. Danone holds top positions globally in healthy food through four businesses: it ranks number one worldwide in fresh dairy products, number two in bottled water and baby nutrition, and is Europe’s number one medical nutrition company. Listed on Euronext Paris, Danone is a component stock of leading social responsibility indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes DJSI Stoxx and DJSI World, ASPI Eurozone and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.
Media Contacts: Michael Dirda Edelman Tel: (212) 277-4320 Michael.Dirda@edelman.com