$1.8M Federal Grant Helped D.C. Make Fruits and Vegetables Available at Work

By Matt Cover | March 12, 2013 | 6:28pm EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com)The municipal government of Washington, D.C. received a $1.8 million federal Community Transformation Grant in 2012 to promote healthy lifestyles in the city.

Among the things the city would do with the money, as listed on its application, was increasing the "availability of fruit and vegetables to employees in their workplaces."

Administered through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the grant was awarded in September 2011, which is the beginning of fiscal year 2012.

According to the CDC, the grant is intended to target “approximately 445,000 residents living in the District of Columbia, focusing on racial/ethnic minority, low-income, medically underserved, and disabled communities.”

“The District of Columbia Department of Health proposes to implement environmental and infrastructure improvements to increase physical activity opportunities; reduce weight and improve nutrition; reduce tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure; and improve chronic disease outcomes,” the CDC’s award announcement says.

D.C. also planned to use the money to “increase policies and practices to support breastfeeding in health care, community, workplaces, and learning and childcare settings,” according to its grant proposal.

Among the things D.C. plans to do to “reduce tobacco use” according to its grant application is “increase smoke-free multi-unit housing” and implement unnamed “Tobacco Free Living Innovative Proposals.”

(AP Photo)

It also plans to provide “menu labeling support” for restaurants – using federal funds to help restaurants defray the costs of providing new menus that list calorie counts and nutritional contents for customers.

D.C. also plans to use the federal funds to “increase the total number of physical activity opportunities implemented at school facilities, including daily recess, intramurals/physical activity clubs, and walk or bicycle to and from school.”

Under the heading of social and emotional wellness, the D.C. city government said it plans to “promote effective parenting practices” and “Increase adoption of comprehensive approaches to improve community design to enhance walking and bicycling and active transportation.”

One of the few things D.C. is not doing with its Community Transformation Grant, but that is allowed by the grant, is changing its zoning laws to limit fast-food restaurants or other establishments featuring “high calorie, high sodium, and low nutrition foods.”

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