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Mid-America Transplant Services Awards $90,000 in Grants to 18 Organizations Focused on Reducing Childhood Obesity

Posted April 29, 2015 in News Category

img7345croppedThe Mid-America Transplant Services (MTS) charitable foundation has awarded over $90,000 in grants to 18 organizations with programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity. Located in St. Louis or Springfield, MO, these organizations presented compelling programs and share our commitment to saving and improving lives. 

“We selected 18 organizations with outstanding programs that we believe can reduce childhood obesity,” said R.J. Crunk, the Executive Director of the foundation. “We know obesity is a leading cause of diabetes and hypertension. These diseases can lead to kidney failure and the need for a transplant. Our goal, by providing these grants, is to reduce the frequency of these diseases and the need for transplant.”  

“While the MTS foundation’s overall goal is to drive the need for transplants down, our innovative partnerships with these organizations will also enable us to educate those within the community and promote a healthier lifestyle, both physically and emotionally,” added Crunk.

“We have always shared expertise and resources with our communities. Our foundation is enhancing our services for recipients and donor families, and also identifying new and innovative opportunities to collaborate on community health issues,” said MTS President and CEO Dean F. Kappel.

Grant recipients include:

American Diabetes Association, St. Louis
This grant will allow the American Diabetes Association to expand its Live Empowered after-school program, which focuses on education about Type 2 diabetes and obesity in the African American community.

Boys and Girls Club of Alton
The Boys and Girls Club of Alton is launching a new project called Triple Play: Mind, Body and Soul with this grant. This nationally developed program is multi-faceted and promotes health and wellness for youth ages 6-18.

Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis
With this grant, the Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis will expand its Triple Play program. This nationally developed program is multi-faceted and promotes health and wellness for youth ages 6-18.

United4Children, St. Louis
As part of its In-Home Child Care program, United4Children encourages healthier eating through its Better Nutrition for Kids program. This grant will allow for a higher level of training and support of 44 home-based providers. United4Children will evaluate lunch and snack menus, provide education and guidance on healthy alternatives and promote at least 60 minutes of active play every day.

Community Renewal and Development, St. Louis
With a goal of attracting 100 new participants, Community Renewal and Development will expand its Fresh Starts Community Garden that offers free produce and training sessions focused on urban gardening.

Gateway Greening, St. Louis
Gateway Greening will expand its Youth Gardens program, which uses outdoor gardens to educate kids about healthy eating, with this grant. They anticipate reaching 300 additional children.

Gene Slay’s Boys Club, St. Louis
This grant will allow the boys club to expand its Healthy Lifestyles program, which consists of cooking classes, a youth garden, healthy food education and physical activity programs. 

Girls Incorporated of St. Louis
With this grant, Girls Incorporated will be able to support 50 additional girls to attend its expansion of the Strong, Smart and Bold Choices program, which includes exercise classes and sessions with a dietician to educate participants about healthy food choices.

Great Circle, Springfield, MO
Great Circle offers a Running Club for children in behavioral health therapy. This grant will be used to purchase running shoes, clothes and race fees for 40 children.

Illinois Center for Autism (ICA), St. Clair County, Illinois
ICA will expand its ICA Gardens project, which includes two phases: working with autistic children to teach them how to establish a garden and working with them to educate on how to use the items grown and how they affect nutrition.

Joe W. Roberts Youth Club, St. Louis
This youth club offers a summer recreational program, called the Wealth of Health Project, designed to provide education about the relationship between obesity and chronic diseases while providing physical activities for the participants. This grant allows for the expansion of the project, which also includes weekly nutritional classes.

Mercy Health Foundation, Springfield, MO
The Foundation will purchase of bicycles and equipment for pediatric patients to ride to keep them physically active while in the hospital for its new project, Mercy Child Life Pediatric Cardiovascular Activity Program.

Operation Food Search (OFS), St. Louis
Cooking Matters is a new project by OFS for the Jefferson Collaborative. A nationally recognized curriculum, it will consist of two six-week cooking and nutrition courses for people living in the South Jefferson catchment area. 

Saint Martin’s Child Center, St. Louis
This grant will allow for the expansion of the Wellness Program, which includes a vegetable garden planted by the pre-kindergarten class and family activity nights.

Southside Early Childhood Center, St. Louis
The Growing Great Kids program, which is a preschool gardening and nutrition program, will expand with this grant. The project educates kids on nutrition by using a seed to table format.

St. Louis University Department of Nutrition
The department is launching a new project called Cooking for the Family 2 with this grant. The purpose is to improve the skills in healthy meal preparation for families of special education students at Dewey IS Elementary School. Funds will be used to purchase tools and supplies, which will be sent home with the families after the cooking classes.

Washington University, St. Louis
Washington University and the Children’s Healthy Start Clinic will start a new project called Healthy Steps for a Healthy Start for 12-16 patients per week. This program will educate patients and their families about physical activity and encourage them to increase their walking and water intake to improve their overall health.

YMCA of St. Louis
By expanding its Zumba Kids program with this grant, the YMCA of St. Louis will train additional instructors and add 24 classes of kids Zumba fitness. This will reach up to 2,400 kids in St. Louis City and County.

About MTS
Mid-America Transplant Services (MTS) saves and improves lives through organ and tissue donations. For more than 40 years it has facilitated and coordinated organ and tissue donation, and now serves 84 counties covering eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas that together are homes to 4.7 million people. It saves lives by providing expert and compassionate care. It was the first such organization in the US to use an in-house operating room for organ recovery and pioneered innovative models of increasing donor registry enrollment in an effort to provide organs and tissues to those in need. It is federally designated and one of 58 such organizations in the US. 

About the MTS foundation
´╗┐The MTS charitable foundation provides enhanced support to transplant patients, donor families and the community. It seeks to reduce the need for organ and tissue transplantation; increase the availability of organs and tissues for those who need them; and to improve the lives of recipients and donor families. The foundation provides programming, develops partnerships and provides community wellness grants to organizations that support its mission of improving health through disease prevention, education and successful transplantation.

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