Jeff and kiddosThrough a generous $97,060 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Fit4Kids is partnering with 13 local schools on learning gardens. Through this partnership, Fit4Kids learning gardens will reach more than 5,000 local children.

Learning gardens engage children in planting, growing, harvesting and best-of-all tasting fresh flavorful food – changing the way children feel about vegetables. At Fit4Kids’ school-based sites, students are exposed to the garden during regular SOL-based lessons that teach important concepts while also showing students how food is grown and the health benefits of eating fresh produce.

Fit4Kids, and its partner Backyard Farmer, will be on-site at schools in Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hopewell. Also, next summer, Fit4Kids will launch a summer garden academy in partnership with four schools.

“Anthem is thrilled to continue our support of Fit4Kids’ innovative Learning Gardens,” said C. Burke King, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Last year, our support reached nine local schools and community partners and this year we are expanding that impact to 13 schools.  By teaching children to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets, we can help them make lifestyle choices that last a lifetime.”

“With Anthem’s support, we were able to reach 3,900 students with our Learning Garden program. Because of this new grant, we will reach more than 5,000 next year, exposing them to fresh fruits and vegetables!” said Mary Dunne Stewart, executive director of Greater Richmond Fit4Kids. “We are grateful for the generous support that the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has given this project and its ongoing commitment to children’s health and wellness.”

About Anthem Blue Cross Foundation

Through charitable grant making, the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association promotes Anthem Blue Cross’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses it’s funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges, as well as it’s Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbol are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.

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