Dan McGowan

Providence wins $25K for Eat, Play, Learn summer program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Providence has been awarded $25,000 for a summer program partially designed to address childhood obesity.

The city's Eat, Play, Learn PVD program won second place for mid-sized cities in the 2018 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA), the philanthropic arm of the American Beverage Association.

The announcement was made last week at the conference's annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

"Each of these mayors have designed innovative programs to inspire and encourage young people to stay active and maintain a balanced diet so they can reach their full potential," Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, said in a statement. "This partnership shows that by working together, government and industry can bring about lasting change to communities across the nation."

Eat, Play, Learn PVD is designed to provide healthy fresh food options, low-cost camps and educational opportunities to Providence residents throughout the summer. The program targets underrepresented youth of color and girls, but also encourages entire families to participate in physical fitness opportunities.

The winner of the $120,000 first prize for mid-sized cities was Knoxville, Tennesseee, which has a program that encourages residents to visit parks and greenways. Boston won first prize for large cities for a program that seeks to increase participation in and consumption of school meals.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

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