The Dannon Company, Inc. awarded Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) the fifth annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant. Dannon presented TAFB with a $30,000 check during a community nutrition forum, On the“Frontline” of Nutrition Education: Teaching Our Families How to Eat and Cook Well for a Lifetime, which was held at the food bank.
This is the second consecutive year that TAFB has received Dannon’s Next Generation Nutrition Grant, in support of the Operation Frontline program.
Operation Frontline will provide more than 360 families in north central Texas with information and hands-on experience for getting the best nutrition possible on a limited budget. The program, which started in 2007, teaches nutrition, cooking, food safety, budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping. TAFB will work in partnership with Share Our Strength, a national non-profit organization working to end childhood hunger in America.
“Hundreds of families have participated in Operation Frontline and now have the skills to eat well and the knowledge to do so on a limited budget,” said Bo Soderbergh, executive director of Tarrant Area Food Bank. “We are grateful to have Dannon’s continued support for Operation Frontline. Dannon’s grant will allow us to strengthen our program and continue to provide families with education on nutrition, budgeting, menu planning and grocery shopping – skills that will help support healthy habits throughout their lives.”
Tarrant Area Food Bank was founded in 1982 and has been teaching nutrition education since 2000. It publishes a monthly newsletter called Healthy Bites for partner agencies and still offers nutrition education in hour-long workshops at schools. In 2007, Operation Frontline became the cornerstone nutrition education program due to its innovative approach and use of skilled volunteers. To date, over 900 families have taken part in the program.
"I am pleased that a company like Dannon understands the importance of proper nutrition and is demonstrating it through the continued support of the Tarrant Area Food Bank,” said State Representative Mark Shelton.
Over the last four years, programs funded through Dannon’s Next Generation Nutrition programs have reached nearly 1,500 children and families in Tarrant County and have produced positive results in the community. The 2008 grant recipient, United Way of Tarrant County, reported that parents who took part in their Little Bites, Big Steps program showed improved knowledge of portion sizes for their pre-schoolers, and that 80% of parents planned to make changes, from encouraging more exercise to cooking healthy meals and limiting TV time.
Obesity among children and adolescents has reached epidemic proportions across the nation. The most recent findings from the Texas Department of State Health Services found that in 2009, 15.6% of Texas high-school students were reported to be overweight and 13.6% were reported to be obese.
Dannon established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grant in 2006 to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where a Dannon facility is located. As part of the grant, Dannon contributes $30,000 to four non-profit organizations ($120,000 in total) in Auglaize County, Ohio; Salt Lake County, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, New York, for programs that nurture healthy eating habits among children.
“The Tarrant Area Food Bank embodies Dannon’s mission to promote childhood nutrition and encourage health through food,” said Gayle Binney, Dannon’s corporate responsibility manager. “The Operation Frontline program teaches skills that can be used over a lifetime, ultimately benefiting the health of the whole community.”
Today’s grant ceremony, held in conjunction with the community nutrition forum, On the “Frontline” of Nutrition Education: Teaching Our Families How to Eat and Cook Well for a Lifetime, was attended by Danny Scarth, Mayor Pro Tem of Fort Worth; Lou Brewer, Director of Public Heath for the Tarrant County Department of Public Health; and Mark Shelton, State Representative for the Texas House of Representatives. Also in attendance were Bo Soderbergh, executive director of Tarrant Area Food Bank; Gayle Binney, Dannon’s corporate responsibility manager; and Philippe Caradec, Dannon’s vice president for regulatory and corporate affairs.
About Tarrant Area Food Bank
Tarrant Area Food Bank, a regional nonprofit in Fort Worth, TX, collects and distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of hunger-relief charities in 13 North Texas counties. Each month, this network of pantries and meals and snack programs distributes emergency groceries to 43,000 families and serves more than 565,000 meals and snacks on charities’ sites.
This past fiscal year, ending June 30, 2010, Tarrant Area Food Bank distributed 23 million pounds of perishable and nonperishable food; an amount of food equivalent to nearly 18 million meals. A dollar donated to Tarrant Area Food Bank provides food for four meals.
Founded in 1982, Tarrant Area Food Bank is a certified member of Feeding America and serves the counties of Bosque, Cooke, Denton, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.
About The Dannon Company, Inc.
The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT and produces approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, one of the world’s leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.
With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging people to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2009, for the ninth year in a row, Danone was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a worldwide reference for socially responsible businesses. Danone is a recognized leader for its contributions to nutrition and health and was ranked best in class in a 2008 JPMorgan & Insight Investment study about the response of the world’s largest food companies to obesity and health-related concerns. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health. For more information, please visit www.dannon.com.