Childhood Obesity Programs To Get More Federal and Private Dollars, Experts Say

Organizations seeking funding for obesity prevention can expect support from federal sources, but should also pay attention to private opportunities, say grants analysts Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko.
June 22, 2012 - PRLog -- Organizations seeking funding for obesity prevention can expect support from federal sources, but should also pay attention to private opportunities, say grants analysts Ray Sweeney, with Federal & Foundation Funding Report, and Frank Klimko, with Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert.

Current opportunities in these grant services are available at no charge from To download a recent issue, visit or call 1-800-666-6380.

The two analysts offered expert insights and advice June 21 to a national audience attending an audio conference on “Finding New Funding to Fight Childhood Obesity.”

The analysts say a significant amount of obesity program dollars will come from the federal government this year because it is following the Obama administration’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, an effort aimed at curbing childhood obesity. Federal officials have already created several interagency committees to address the childhood obesity issue and are asking state and local governments to do the same.

Outside the Box

Sticking to the theme of the audio conference, Klimko urged listeners to “look to beyond the obvious” in order to find other federal programs capable of addressing childhood obesity, such as those supporting neighborhood walkability (i.e., making communities more pedestrian-friendly) or livability. He cites programs like the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” initiative, which provides funding to improve arts corridors and walkability.

Sweeney cites HUD’s “Choice Neighborhoods” program as another example of an “outside the box” federal effort that funds improvements in local neighborhoods, linking housing, transportation and childhood nutrition.

Sweeney says community organizations with obesity programs should explore all possible partnership opportunities, including those involving research and demonstration projects. He advises groups seeking funding for childhood obesity programs to reach out to local colleges and universities, and inquire about partnering on USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – a program that funds research and demonstration efforts aimed at reducing obesity.

Private Giving

Klimko notes a number of private funders now have robust obesity prevention efforts underway, including well-known organizations like the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation, as well as lesser-known funders like the Saucony Run for Good Foundation. He says RWJ is now accepting applications for its seventh round of grants in the “Healthy Eating Research: Building Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity” program, with awards reaching $170,000 each. Saucony is providing nonprofits with funding to support youth running and fitness programs.

Info: A limited number of CD recordings of the audio conference are available at; or call 1-800-666-6380.  Purchasers also receive an invaluable, time-saving handout with links to over 60 obesity-related funding efforts and can email the presenters with specific funding questions at no charge for the next 30 days.
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