PRESS RELEASE: UnitedHealthcare Community Plan awards OLHSA $24,000 for family nutrition and health initiatives

Pontiac, Mich., February 25, 2016OLHSA, A Community Action Agency, recently received a grant for $24,000 from UnitedHealthcare Community Plan. The grant will fund family health and wellness programming in Pontiac.

“We are honored to be one of five recipients out of numerous applications that were submitted regionally,” said Erica Karfonta, director of health, housing and nutrition at OLHSA. “Through the UnitedHealthcare grant, OLHSA will enhance its family fitness and health and nutrition services, as well as our summer food program that serves families in Pontiac who would otherwise struggle to eat three meals each day.”

By engaging community members through the new Families Get Fit exercise program and the existing Meet Up and Eat Up food program, the agency will link community members to food resources and expose them to healthy eating and physical activity. Last summer, OLHSA’s Meet Up and Eat Up program, through the USDA, served over 30,000 meals to children 18 and under in Pontiac. Through the UnitedHealthcare grant, Meet Up and Eat Up will be enhanced to include more activities and meals for adults. Families Get Fit will offer free events from May to September, including events at Meet Up and Eat Up sites, and will feature activities lead by YMCA fitness instructors and chefs, in partnership with OLHSA. Families will be sent home with free fitness equipment, family passes to the YMCA and, based on availability, a limited number of short term YMCA memberships for families.

“Through this grant, OLHSA’s family-centered engagement activities will increase knowledge about healthy food options, improve access to fitness activities and encourage behavioral changes in both children and parents,” said Susan Harding, director of early childhood services at OLHSA. “The goal of these programs is to reinforce and instill healthy habits into children’s lives that will last a lifetime. Many of OLHSA’s Head Start families will benefit from the various opportunities provided through the grant.”

Meet Up and Eat Up and Families Get Fit are open to all families with children in Pontiac. Look for more information coming soon on OLHSA’s website, www.olhsa.org.

OLHSA is a Community Action Agency improving the quality of life for people facing crisis while strengthening families, communities, seniors and youth since 1964. Over 178,000 services were provided in 2014 in the pursuit of helping people and changing lives.  www.olhsa.org

Media Contacts: Ashley Yocum | 248.209.2623 office | 570.259.1394 cell | ashleyy@olhsa.orgAdela Piper | 586.212.4792 | adela@siren-pr.com