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CARLISLE, Pa. -- During this school year Giant Food Stores, LLC here is continuing its commitment to encouraging healthy lifestyles in its home state with an additional $30,000 in funding for the innovative Keystone Healthy Zone (KHZ) schools program organized by Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activity (PANA), a statewide coalition of public and private partners working to address the issue of childhood obesity.
The KHZ campaign is a free annual program that gives schools access to resources, promotional events, and mini-grants for improving nutrition and increasing physical activity.
As a primary sponsor of the mini-grant portion of the program, Giant has donated $60,000 over the past two years. The funds provide critical seed money to KHZ schools for adopting specific aspects of the program. Based on an annual application process, PANA annually awards $2,000 mini-grants to 100 schools across Pennsylvania. The coalition has awarded total of 300 mini-grants since 2004.
"Our KHZ mini-grant support is just one more localized way that Giant is focused on its commitment to 'Living Here. Giving Here,'" said Giant Food president and c.e.o. Tony Schiano in a statement. "With a presence in so many communities all over Pennsylvania, we take our responsibility to help promote healthy living very seriously and supporting PANA's KHZ initiative is one of the most effective ways of doing so."
"In only three years, KHZ has enrolled an impressive 79 percent of Pennsylvania's 501 school districts, reaching 1,677 schools and 913,000 students in 2006," added PANA executive director Allison Topper. "The mini-grant element of the campaign has been crucial to this success."
"The personalized application of KHZ at the local level is a great complement to the community initiatives on nutrition taking place in our own stores, from cooking classes to our 'Healthy Ideas' magazine to in-store tours and presentations," said Schiano. "There's truly strength in numbers when building momentum for more balanced eating and activity choices, and through KHZ and our in-store activities, Giant is committed to adding to that momentum one school, one home, and one community at a time."
Ahold-owned Giant Food currently operates 214 stores as Giant Food Stores, Tops Markets, and Martin's Food Markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and New York.