LIMA — The U.S. Conference of Mayors announced yesterday the winners of its annual Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards, and, for the second time, Lima was on the list.
After receiving the $100,000 grant for the first time four years ago, the city put in place the fresh produce food truck that now delivers fresh fruits and other healthy foods to food deserts and elderly in the area.
This time, Mayor David Berger said the grant will largely involve high school students learning how to cook and, in turn, teach others in the community how to cook and eat healthy, as well.
The program, which will have seven phases, will feature classes at Lima Senior High School and Apollo Career Center that will help students learn how to design and develop a healthy eating initiative that will reduce obesity rates in the county. It will also include a culinary arts competition with high school teams taking on the challenge to cook appetizing and healthy $1 school meals. The community will also have the opportunity to attend a free healthy eating eight-week cooking class. Upon completing the course, families will receive a cook book, newsletter and free slow cooker.
The city applied for the grant again two years ago but was denied. This time around, the city collaborated with Activate Allen County, the YMCA, the local food bank, Lima Senior High School and Apollo Career Center. The grant recognizes cities categorized as large, medium and small. Lima won first place in the small town category.
Further announcements about the grant and the program’s structure, exactly what will be happening and when, will be made by the city at a later date, Berger said.
“It builds on the work we’ve been involved with already and (the grant) is seen as a very successful way of having a second phase to our efforts,” he said. “It’s a focus on healthy food, healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle.”