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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Knox County Selected as One of 41 Sites for National Program to Fight Childhood Obesity
January 7, 2010 - Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and officials from Knox County Health Department will announce a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) on Jan. 12, 10 a.m., at Beardsley Farms, 1719 Reynolds Avenue.

Based on a rigorous selection process that drew more than 500 proposals from across the country, Knox County is one of 41 sites selected for the RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative. Plans for the funding, as outlined by the grant, are to improve opportunities for physical activity and access to affordable, healthy foods for children and families in Knox County.

The Knox County Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities partnership will focus on creating healthier local neighborhoods in target communities with high rates of childhood obesity. Two of its priorities will be to create safer places for children to walk, bike and play near their homes by expanding neighborhood Safe Routes to School options and to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by starting community gardens and adding to the number of healthy food and beverage options offered at local convenience stores. Because four out of 10 children in Knox County are either overweight or obese, increasing access to healthy foods and providing safe places for youth activity are essential to supporting behavior that leads to a healthy weight.

You are invited to cover this important step in reversing the epidemic of childhood obesity in our community. Mayor Ragsdale, public health officials and community partners from various organizations will be available for interviews.

Directions to Beardsley Farm (from downtown/campus):
  • Head West on Western Avenue
  • Turn Right on Reynolds Ave (this is about 1/4 mile past Cherokee Health Systems building)
  • Turn Left into Cansler Boys and Girls Club
  • The entrance to the farm is to the Right behind the B&G Club building
  • There is another parking area off of Western Avenue AFTER you pass Reynolds Avenue
  • For Immediate Release
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