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Healthiest Ames receives grant from The Wellmark Foundation

Grant educates children on importance of nutrition and healthy habits



Healthiest Ames has received a $25,000 grant from The Wellmark Foundation for the Healthy Heroes initiative. The project will design, implement and assess activities associated with the Ames schools’ summer feeding program. Healthy Heroes focuses on improving healthy eating habits and literacy of third and fourth grade students.


“Adoption of nutritional eating is challenging due to the less than optimal eating habits of the U.S.,” said Suzanne Hendrich, professor at Iowa State University. “Healthy Heroes brings together local experts, schools, and community action organizations and agencies to attempt to make progress toward a healthier future for our community by helping our most vulnerable children develop productive habits.”


The six-week program will track eating habits with integrated portions covering nutritional and environmental science activities, including container gardening of vegetables, for students to understand sustainability. At the end of the program, students who have successfully completed a set number of activities will be eligible to select free books.


Grant one of only 23 selected

The Wellmark Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that seeks to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their communities. Through its 2015 Healthy Communities small grant program, the Foundation received 94 grant requests from various organizations seeking support for smaller community health projects. This grant award to Healthiest Ames represents one of 23 competitively awarded grants across Iowa and South Dakota to establish pilot efforts or expand upon current community health initiatives.


The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award a cumulative total of $475,966 to these 23 grant recipients.


“The Healthy Heroes initiatives work to instill wellness and future healthy practices in the community at a young age,” said Stephanie Perry, The Wellmark Foundation Manager.


For more information on Healthiest Ames, contact Suzanne Hendrich at 515-294-4272 For more information regarding The Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, contact Teresa Roof at 515-376-5869 or visit


About The Wellmark Foundation

The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation's Web site at to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


About Healthiest Ames

Healthiest Ames was formally launched on October 3rd, 2011 to coincide with the statewide Healthiest State Walk. Healthiest Ames is a grassroots effort by individuals and organizations all over Ames that are working together to help achieve this vision. Our group was fueled initially by the drive to become a designated "Blue Zone" community but the spark has led to follow a different and more independent path to help advance the broader state wide goal of becoming the Healthiest State.

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