Vilsack Emphasizes Childhood Obesity Intervention, $42 Million in Funding

USDA Secy. Tom Vilsack is touting a new childhood obesity intervention program that awarded $9 million in grants this year and looks to make $42 million in additional funding available over the next five years.

The Agriculture & Food Research Initiative: Childhood Obesity Prevention Area (CFDA Number: 10.310) (Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-AFRI-004917) grants are administered by the Nat’l Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA). It provides funding for research and programs that address areas deemed of utmost importance to USDA. The program funds research and programs focused on reducing the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents.

Vilsack says NIFA anticipates making $42 million available over the next five years for the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area, with the expectation that the new projects awarded this fiscal year would receive additional funds if they achieve project objectives and milestones.

This year’s projects include the University of Miami School of Medicine’s project a train-the-trainer model to deliver the evidence-based “Healthy Caregivers, Healthy Children” early childhood obesity prevention toolkit to low-income, multiethnic children. California State University will also create strategies for promoting healthy eating behaviors among children and families in the Hispanic community through classroom and at-home activities.

Other winners include the University of Maine’s iCook project which developed online tools to encourage families to cook, eat, and exercise together while improving culinary skills and increasing physical activity; and Oregon State University’s project, Generating Rural Options for Weight-Healthy Kids and Communities (GROW HKC), which implemented an obesity intervention program in three counties to promote healthy eating and increase physical activity, ultimately improving body mass indexes among rural children aged 5-8 years old.

The grants are authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America.

“One-third of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation,” says Vilsack. “It is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids, and develop into healthy adults.”


Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area FY 2014 Winners
California State U., Chico, CA, $149,890 Florida International U., Miami, $150,000
U. of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA $777,508 U. of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, $584,661 
U. of California-Davis, Davis, CA, $690,537  U. of Illinois, Champaign, $448,385 
Colorado State U., Fort Collins, CO, $990,984  Iowa State U., Ames, Iowa, $693,768 
U. of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT, $149,603  Michigan State U., $833,509 
Cornell U., Ithaca, NY, $969,157  Tennessee State U. $149,668 
Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico, $149,889 Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, $840,957
Pennsylvania State U. $870,473  Texas A&M U., College Station, Texas, $906,530
Duke U., Durham, NC, $50,000

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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