Kaiser Permanente has given another $1 million grant to the Sonoma County HEAL (Health Eating Active Living) program, which funds a variety of nutrition and exercise programs in south Santa Rosa.
The HEAL project supports a variety of approaches in the Roseland and Kawana Springs neighborhoods to encourage and support residents to eat healthier foods and become more physically active from infancy through adulthood. The goal is to prevent obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
The initiative is a project of CAN-C, the Community Activity and Nutrition Coalition of Sonoma County and has been funded by Kaiser Permanente since 2007. The current grant (2015-2016), administered through the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, will fund programs in Roseland.
We are thrilled to receive this grant because it will allow us to address the specific challenges that people in Roseland face every day," said Anthony Taylor, DHS health program manager.
The HEAL project received a $1.5 million grant from Kaiser Permanente in 2006 and a $1 million grant in 2011. These funds have gone to the installation of Bayer Community Garden; safe routes to school; increasing students' healthy food and physical activity programs; creating more healthy food and beverage options at seven small markets and restaurants; work-site wellness programs at nine businesses; and training and mentoring of 56 low-income residents.
The new grant will be used to fund a number of initiatives, including creating greater access between the Roseland Village site and Joe Rodota Trail; bolstering school wellness programs; reducing sugary drink consumption and installing water stations in Roseland schools and the surrounding neighborhood; and creating more access to healthier food at Roseland retail outlets.
The grant was officially accepted by the county at a Board of Supervisors meeting last month. Supervisors expressed both their appreciation for Kaiser's efforts and their desire to expand the program to more communities.