The Walmart Foundation’s Oregon State Giving Program recently awarded $446,250 to eight Oregon nonprofits, including the School of Community Health in the College of Urban and Public Affairs. The gift to PSU, totaling almost $100,000, is the largest gift made by the Oregon State Giving Program last year and will support an expansion of the Harvest for Healthy Kids program, a nutrition program for low-income children in Multnomah County.
"This additional funding from the Walmart Foundation will allow us to scale up our outreach to more children and their families,” said Betty Izumi, an assistant professor in PSU’s School of Community Health and co-director of Harvest for Healthy Kids. “We’ve been working in Head Start classrooms since 2010 and we’ve seen that this approach can make a difference.”
Harvest for Healthy Kids began as a community-based intervention research project with Mt. Hood Community College Head Start. The goal is to increase access to and preference for a variety of fruits and vegetables that are grown here in Oregon by bringing locally grown fruits and vegetables into the classroom and focusing on nutrition education at an early age. There are three different components: food service changes, classroom education, and family engagement. For more information about the program, check out a recent interview with Professor Izumi.
Twice a year, The Walmart Foundation’s Oregon State Giving Program awards grants to local organizations that address the needs of the communities they serve and make a significant social impact. Combined with $208,000 given to organizations earlier in 2013, Walmart provided a total of $654,250 to Oregon-based groups for the year.