A new community group will help residents of Lemon Grove lighten up and improve their bottom lines.
The San Diego nonprofit group Community Health Improvement Partners has received a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente to fight obesity in Lemon Grove through eating better and living more active lifestyles.
A coalition of community partners, including the , the Lemon Grove School District, the City of Lemon Grove, the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative and local businesses, will develop projects focused on improving community health and preventing the diseases—such as diabetes and hypertension—that often result from obesity.
“We are always more powerful when we team up,” says school district Superintendent Ernie Anastos.
The grant will allow the group to make changes that reflect the specific needs of the city, Anastos says. The group is looking to create a health and wellness hub close to the center of town, and increase active living opportunities in the city.
Anastos says the school district will seek ways to open up fields and facilities for community use.
Other proposals include a healthy vending machine policy throughout the city, a wellness program for school district employees, healthy menu options at local restaurants, and walking clubs.
“’A healthy, livable Lemon Grove.’ That’s my motto,” Anastos said.
The three-year plan to make better behaviors a daily habit for all of Lemon Grove is part of the $7 million Healthy Eating Active Living Zones initiative the healthcare provider is rolling out across Southern California. HEAL Zones are designed to help make healthy choices accessible to more people in underserved communities.
Five other communities in Southern California—Anaheim, Long Beach, Ontario, West Ventura and East Riverside—were also selected to receive $1 million HEAL Zone grants.