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New or existing programs in Barron, Buffalo, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Pierce, St. Croix and Trempealeau counties were invited to apply for the Hometown Health grant. Recipients named to receive a total of $155,000 in grant money in 2019 are:
- Benjamin’s House Emergency Shelter: Rapid Rehousing Project, $25,000
Unstable housing circumstances, including homelessness, are critical social determinants of adult and child health. This program provides rental assistance and case management for homeless families with the goal of moving them into permanent housing.
- Bloomer/New Auburn Food Pantry: Food is Medicine, $10,000
This innovative program will offer pantry visitors with chronic diseases the chance to participate in a pilot program receiving healthy food boxes customized to their health condition.
- Boyceville School District: Coaching Trauma-Informed Resilience, $20,000
This program involves a trauma-informed curriculum. It addresses the development of stress resilience by incorporating mindfulness and self-regulation activities in the school. Funding will build the capacity of internal coaches and teachers, and help them expand collaboration with Mondovi schools.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Chippewa Valley: Summer Brain Gain Programming, $15,000
Members of the Boys & Girls Club receive programming focused on building academic skills over the summer break while promoting social-emotional skills that build positive mental health.
- Feed My People: Healthy Meal Kit Program, $20,000
Focusing on food-insecure individuals across northwest-central Wisconsin, Feed My People is working to improve community health by increasing access to nutritious food. This project helps people learn how to assemble healthy meals for their household with simple ingredients and recipes.
- Girls on the Run of the Chippewa Valley: Program Grown Initiative, $5,000
Girls on the Run is a program for girls between the ages of 8 and 13 that teaches life skills through positive mentoring, lessons and running. Support of this effort brings the Girls on the Run program to five new rural schools and will provide financial assistance to girls in need.
- Hope Gospel Mission: Renewed Hope Program for Women and Children, $25,000
This rehabilitation program helps with addiction, academics, finances, life skills, mental health, nutrition/fitness, spirituality and vocational needs, as well as assisting with the development of healthy support networks and parenting skills.
- Legacy Community Center: Agnes Table, $25,000
Not being connected to community resources and support has an direct effect on health. The Legacy Center offers a one-stop location for assistance with basic needs and connection to appropriate agencies, including housing and employment resources.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Pop-up Pantries, $10,000
Lack of access to healthy, affordable foods contributes to obesity and chronic disease. This program offers pop-up food distribution pantries in rural areas providing easier access to nutritious food for low-income residents.
- West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission: Improve Student Health through Walking and Biking to School, $25,000
Walking and biking are easy ways to live a healthy lifestyle. The Safe Routes to School project will benefit school districts in Altoona, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire with the aim of increasing the number of students using active transportation to get to school.
The 2020 grant application process will open in January.
2018 Hometown Health Grant recipients:
- Beaver Creek Reserve: Living Healthy and Staying Active in Nature, $25,000
Connecting people with nature and increasing physical activity is the focus for this program. Visitors to Beaver Creek Reserve will have the opportunity to engage in more than 9 miles of trails, enjoy outdoor play and exploration, visit the indoor discovery center and more.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: Mentors in Motion, $15,000
Strong mentoring relationships between caring adults and children can significantly increase positive development in youth. This project plan will work to educate parents, staff and volunteers about mental health in youth and how to incorporate play into the lives of children facing adversity.
- Boyceville School District: Heart Mind Well-being, $20,000
This program will introduce the Resilience/Health Realization model to students in grades six through 12. Training focuses on resilience, youth development, mental health, brain development, stress reduction and social and emotional learning.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley: Mental Health & Stability Programs, $5,000
Members of the Boys & Girls Club will receive programming focused on preventive measures in mental health, positive youth decision-making and avoiding risky behavior.
- Children’s Museum of Eau Claire: Eat! Move! Live!, $19,000
This initiative brings an interactive exhibit and program experience to children and their grown-ups promoting nutrition, fitness and confidence. A food pantry also will be developed to support cooking healthy meals at home.
- Chippewa Valley Free Clinic: Healthier You, $14,500
This program will work to reduce the incidence of obesity-related diseases using interventions that champion and sustain healthy lifestyle behaviors.
- City of Eau Claire Parks and Recreation: Active Aging Fitness Park, $20,000
This project will provide an outdoor space for affordable, accessible and fun low-impact exercise options encouraging older adults to live healthier, more active lives.
- Dunn County Health Department: Nurse Family Partnership Program, $1,000
Specially trained nurses regularly visit young, first-time moms empowering them to transform their lives and create better futures for themselves and their babies.
- Eau Claire YMCA: Concepts of Healthy Living, $2,000
This new, eight-week classroom-based program for children in grades 2 through 7 will teach the importance of an active lifestyle focusing on healthy eating, physical activity and mindfulness.
- Family Promise: Homeless Families Pathway, $25,000
The link between family homelessness and poor health has been well documented. This program offers homeless residents in Eau Claire case management and rental subsidies with the expected end result of permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
- Feed My People: Weekend Kids’ Meals, $5,000
The Weekend Kids' Meal program addresses child hunger and local food insecurity by sending meals home from school on Fridays. The meals offer a variety of fruit, vegetable and protein items.
- Legacy Community Center: Agnes Table, $25,000
This new project expands on the existing Agnes Table program by adding additional meals throughout the week. Offering healthy meals provides a cost-effective way for families and individuals to meet basic needs and build supportive connections in the community.
- NAMI Barron County: Hope & Recovery Project, $23,500
This project plan will expand local support and education to people living with a mental illness, their family members and friends and to area providers.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Shelter Program Support, $5,000
This program provides emergency shelter, housing assistance and referral services to prevent homelessness and facilitates long-term self-sufficiency.
2017 Hometown Health Grant recipients:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: 1 to 1 Mentoring, $10,000
Strong mentoring relationships between caring adults and children can significantly increase positive development in youth. This program provides free support services, which help in the development of new skills to enhance problem-solving abilities and build self-esteem.
- Boys & Girls Club of Barron County: Healthy Out of School Time, $20,000
The HOST Program teaches Boys & Girls Club members how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical fitness and healthy food choices.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley: Healthy Lifestyles, $15,000
This program enhances the overall health of club members by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching good nutrition and helping develop healthy relationships.
- Chippewa County Department of Public Health: Pre-Venture: Mental Health Prevention, $21,000
The Pre-Venture Program identifies youth with high-risk behaviors, provides evidence-based intervention and equips them with effective coping methods. The goal is to reduce substance use rates in Chippewa County by 33%.
- Children’s Museum of Eau Claire: Eat! Move! Live!, $25,000
This initiative brings a well-rounded, interactive exhibit and program experience to children and their grown-ups promoting healthy living.
- Chippewa Valley Museum: Biking into History, $9,000
Guided bike tours will be developed to encourage physical activity while also connecting participants to local history. Tours will include education on safe bicycling practices.
- Feed My People Food Bank: Foods to Encourage Initiative, $15,000
This program will increase the amount of appropriate food items for low-income residents dealing with diabetes and/or heart concerns, as well as educate partner food bank programs to carry these food items.
- Grassroots Empowerment Project: Recovering Community – Reentry and Recovery Peer Support after Incarceration, Homelessness or Inpatient Treatment, $21,000
A peer support re-entry program will be developed for people leaving jail, prison, shelters and treatment centers. The project will provide support and resources needed to successfully re-enter the community.
- School District of Mondovi: Focusing on Resilience, $25,000
This program fosters mental health and resilience of at-risk K–12 students. Adult teams will receive special training in resiliency and champion transformation with colleagues, students, parents and community members.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Increased Access to Nutritious Food for At-risk Populations, $15,000
Those receiving adequate nutrition are mentally and physically healthier. This project will help alleviate food insecurity among identified at-risk populations across the lifespan.
- Village of Cameron: Guy Spiers Park Redevelopment, $25,000
Adult outdoor fitness equipment will be installed next to the existing playground encouraging physical activity for the entire family. The fitness area will be accessible to those with mobility issues and increase use of the park.
2016 Hometown Health Grant recipients:
- Aging & Disability Resource Center of Barron, Rusk and Washburn Counties: Wisconsin Music & Memory Program, $25,000
Music affects the brain and the body. This program will create an intergenerational partnership to bring music to community-dwelling adults with dementia and local youth involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Barron County to load iPods with music that speaks to the older generation living with dementia. In exchange, the youth will have the opportunity to help destigmatize dementia through a learning environment that supports collaboration and positive relationships.
- Altoona Elementary School: Four Seasons of Fun Fitness Trail, $20,000
A two-mile fitness trail for all community members will be incorporated adjacent to the new elementary school. The trail will encourage outdoor fitness for people of all ages, and will provide information about local habitat, plants and animals by working with the Altoona High School science program.
- Bloomer City Park: Outdoor Fitness Path and Fitness Circuit, $20,000
Outdoor fitness equipment and instructional signage will be installed in the north City Park to provide free exercise equipment for adults. This will be located adjacent to the existing playground and bathroom facilities. This project will enhance fitness and community health for those living in and those visiting the city of Bloomer.
- Boys & Girls Club of Greater Chippewa Valley: Healthy Lifestyles — Nutrition & Physical Fitness Program, $20,000
Boys & Girls Club members will learn the basics of nutrition, fitness and personal wellness; including self-care and positive habits for personal hygiene and grooming. More than 1,000 children at centers in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie are expected to benefit from this program.
- Chippewa Valley Free Clinic: Reducing Obesity in a High-risk Population, $14,000
Clinical services will be enhanced by intervening with overweight and obese patients to prevent the incidence of serious-related disease. This clinical model will use education, counseling and treatment to engage patients in addressing and reducing obesity health risks.
- Chippewa Valley Montessori: Outdoor Environmental Project, $13,000
Garden areas and green gathering and learning spaces will replace an existing play area that is more than 20 years old. Children and families from the community will be able to learn and play in areas that include an edible landscape and school garden, along with a restored prairie area.
- Feed My People Food Bank: Produce Initiative, $20,000
This program will increase the amount of fruit and vegetables available to low-income residents in Barron, Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire counties. Approximately 180,000 pounds of produce is anticipated to reach 9,000 individuals in 3,000 households.
- Junior League of Eau Claire: Kids in the Kitchen, $8,000
Kids in the Kitchen is offered in partnership with the Eau Claire Area School District. Cooking classes for fourth-graders will be offered at Forage in Banbury Place, and will include food safety, food preparation and an art and fitness rotation, with activities including Zumba or yoga.
- School District of Augusta: Food — Small Choices, Big Changes, $16,000
Classroom gardens will be created to teach students where food comes from, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, and provide fresh produce to the school food service. Educational events will be held for families to learn and experience healthy food options.
- School District of Menomonie: Partners for Resilience, $24,000
Students in grades seven through 12 will receive mental health education and skill development to meet identified mental health needs of school-age children. School and community personnel also will be trained to teach information focused on resiliency, youth development, brain development and stress reduction.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Project Share a Meal, $20,000
This is an expansion of an existing program that provides weekend meals to children at risk for hunger when school meals are not available. The number of schools receiving meals will be expanded, and meals will include at least two pieces of fresh produce.
2015 Hometown Health Grant recipients:
- City of Eau Claire: Outdoor Fitness Zone at Owen Park, $25,000
Adult fitness equipment and instructional signage will be installed in Owen Park to provide free exercise equipment in the city’s park system. Organized outdoor exercises classes also are planned. Research indicates outdoor fitness affects psychological as well as physical health.
- Eau Claire YMCA: YMCA Healthy Living, $25,000
The Y Diabetes Prevention Program — an evidence-based effort to prevent type 2 diabetes in those at risk — will be expanded. Funding also will support development of the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards and the Y5210 program, used in the Eau Claire schools, targeting physical activity and nutrition in youth and their caregivers.
- Boys and Girls Club of Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire counties: Drug, Alcohol & Positive Behavior Program, $25,000 Prevention education will address drug and alcohol use, premature sexual activity and peer pressure, as well as practicing resilience and refusal skills. The program expands on similar successful programming and will reach more than 1,000 children annually in Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire counties.
- Barron Boys & Girls Club: Healthier Out of School Time (HOST), $25,000
This initiative would hire a coordinator for HOST, part of Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which targets childhood obesity through wellness and fitness programming. In Barron County, the Boys & Girls Club operates at six sites in Barron, Cumberland and Rice Lake. The effort will work with in tandem with the Boys & Girls’ Club’s Triple Play program, which combats childhood obesity by focusing on physical activity, nutrition and healthy relationships.
- Stepping Stones of Dunn County: Project Share a Meal, $25,000
This is an expansion of an existing program that provides weekend meals to children at risk for hunger when school meals are not available. Most food is purchased from Feed My People Food Bank, but Stepping Stones hasn’t had funding for fresh produce, because fruits and vegetables are more expensive. The number of schools receiving meals will be expanded, and meals will include at least two pieces of fresh produce.
- Feed My People Food Bank of western Wisconsin: Nutritious Foods for All, $20,000
This program will ensure that 125 hunger-relief food agencies will be able to provide healthy food options to those they serve. The program targets individuals struggling with food insecurity in west-central Wisconsin, because this population is disproportionally at risk for diet-related chronic disease.
- Barron County Health & Human Services: Diabetes Prevention Program, $15,000
Barron County will develop the infrastructure to implement the evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program, targeting those at risk for type 2 diabetes. The program will be offered at worksites countywide to minimize transportation barriers in this rural area.
- Junior League of Eau Claire: Kids in the Kitchen, $12,000
Expanding a program with the Boys and Girls Club of Eau Claire, Kids in the Kitchen will be offered in partnership with the Eau Claire Area School District. Cooking classes for fourth-graders will be offered at Forage in Banbury Place and will include food safety, food preparation and education on sustainable food and agriculture.
- Community Table of Eau Claire: Senior Meals Project, $10,634
A pilot program with the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County and Feed My People Food Bank will expand Meals on Wheels to those who are disabled or homebound. This will increase access to healthy meals to people who are food insecure.