By Special to the Daily World
BALTIMORE — The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, has awarded the NAACP $100,000 for Project H.E.L.P. (Healthy Eating, Lifestyle Change and Physical Activity), a program dedicated to promoting active and healthy living. The foundation also granted $35,000 to the NAACP New York State Conference for their education initiatives. The grants are part of $19 million donated in 2010 to support community programs focusing on water conservation, community recycling, active healthy living and education.
The grant money will be distributed to five local NAACP branches through funding of Project H.E.L.P., a national program designed to create awareness and educate underserved communities about healthy living. The pilot program will focus on the entire family to promote healthy behaviors and advocate for healthier environments in communities.
“We are truly grateful to the Coca-Cola Foundation for their support,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “This will increase our efforts to effectively improve the health of families and communities. Young people living in communities where families practice healthy lifestyles and have access to nutritious food and recreational areas also demonstrate higher academic achievement and lower involvement in high-risk activities. Health and education are essential core elements to enhance our children’s ability to realize their greatest potential.”
“Quality education and health are the pillars of a strong community. Without those two factors, communities and families cannot thrive,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We appreciate this investment in our ongoing efforts to end the crippling health and educational disparities that afflict our communities.”
“The NAACP Health Department is excited about the Coca Cola Foundation’s contribution to the health and wellness of the African American community,” said Shavon Arline, NAACP Director of Health Programs. “We look forward to partnering with our branches and units across the country as they raise awareness about health and wellness in the communities they serve.”
Since 1986, the Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded a total of $2.1 million to the NAACP, including over $490,000 to various local chapters, $578,000 to the National Chapter for Annual National Conference Sponsorship, $500,000 for the Legal Defense Fund and $522,000 for the Atlanta chapter.