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Rancho Cucamonga wins grant to battle obesity

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

January 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of Rancho Cucamonga has been awarded a $360,000 grant to fight childhood obesity. The grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will help the city to improve opportunities for physical activity and access to health foods.Rancho Cucamonga is one of 41 cities selected from 500 proposals for the Health Kids, Healthy Communities initiative. City officials say Rancho Cucamonga's health profile is similar to that of San Bernardino as a whole. It is the fourth most obese county in the United States, where three out of every four school children do not meet fitness standards.

The city will use the grant funding to improve opportunities for active living and healthy eating for children and families. It plans to increase walking and bicycling opportunities throughout the community. It also plans to pursue agreements with schools to open their facilities to the community after school hours.

The city says it will also use the grant to promote healthy food options in schools and to explore opportunities to develop community gardens and farmers' markets. Program leaders also hope to get zoning regulations changed to allow the creation of "edible front yards."

"We have a vision for Rancho Cucamonga as a community where children encounter healthy messages and healthy choices that are easy to access as they go about their daily activities," said James Troyer, planning director for the city and project director for the Healthy RC Kids Partnership.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a $33 million program designed to use community-based solutions to fight childhood obesity.