Through a partnership with the YMCA of the USA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the State Alliance of Indiana YMCAs awarded four $10,000 grants to local coalitions to address the childhood obesity epidemic in Indiana. Among the recipients was the Batesville Community Partners Coalition, which includes the Southeastern Indiana YMCA, according to Kathleen Bohman, SIY community outreach coordinator.
The funding was allocated as part of the Alliance’s 2014 Supporting Community Action Grant program, which was made available through its Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative. It will allow the Batesville coalition’s initiative, Supporting Healthy Choices: Adopting HEPA Standards in Afterschool Programs, to extend training and development opportunities centered around healthy eating and physical activity.
The Batesville Community Partners Coalition is committed to overcoming youth obesity and addressing other health needs in the Batesville community. “With help from our partners at the State Alliance of Indiana YMCAs, we are able to address health issues that affect our youth through policy, systems and environmental change right where we live, work and play,” says Angie Johnson, SIY executive director.
In addition to the Y, the coalition includes Margaret Mary Health, represented by Geralyn Litzinger and Ashley Morris; city of Batesville, Rick Fledderman and Sarah Lamping; Coalition for a Drug-Free Batesville; Batesville Community School Corp., Jim Roberts and Melissa Burton; Batesville Area Ministerial Association and its food pantry, the Rev. Roger Dean; Hill-Rom, Mary Jon McCaig and Tim Dietz; Batesville Tool & Die, Paul Mersch; Ripley County Community Foundation, Sally Morris; and Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Melissa Tucker.
In Indiana, it is estimated that at least one-third of school age children are considered to be overweight or obese. In Franklin and Ripley counties, 38.9 percent of youth ages 5-12 are considered overweight.
The coalition “is one component of making communities healthier. As an alliance of YMCAs we are working together to diligently achieve our goal of strengthening Indiana. Our commitment will impact children and families across Franklin County and Ripley County for years to come by providing healthy environments rich in opportunities to be active,” says Marty Pastura, State Alliance of Indiana YMCAs chair.
The other Hoosier grantees were the Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition, Get Healthy Scott County! and Healthy Directions of Randolph County Coalition.