Guelph receives $1.1 million in Provincial funding to promote healthy, active lifestyles among children and youth

GUELPH, ON, September 12, 2014 – Guelph has been chosen to participate in Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge program, which provides $1.1 million in Provincial funding along with training and other resources over four years.

This will enable the City of Guelph to implement community-based programs and activities to promote children’s health, including healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices such as the importance of getting adequate sleep.

Programs will begin to be implemented in winter 2015 and will include breakfast programs; sports programming for teens; toolkits and resources to improve sleep in children and youth; an online portal and cookbook to promote healthy eating; data collection on child and youth health; and the expansion of the successful STEPS recreation program for at-risk youth to elementary school children.

“Guelph’s participation in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge will enable the City and its partners to make a significant difference for local children and youth, and help them develop good habits that will last a lifetime,” said the City’s Executive Director of Community and Social Services Derrick Thomson. “It will help us meet identified needs and improve outcomes across all neighbourhoods in Guelph.”

Under the Challenge’s partnership model, programs and activities will be delivered by a range of community partners, with the City administering the overall program as well as running certain programs through the Community and Social Services division.

Community partners include Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, the local public and Catholic school boards, Perpetual Motion Sports and Entertainment, Guelph Community Health Centre, Guelph YMCA-YWCA, Guelph Wellington Children’s Foundation, Wyndham House, Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, and Guelph Youth Council.

“Collaboration and partnerships have always been one of our community’s great strengths, and this is one more example,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “As a participant in this Challenge, we will improve health and wellbeing for children and youth by building on the tremendous programs and resources that already exist in our community. This is exactly what we have been developing through Guelph Wellbeing–and this support from the Province is one more signal that we are on the right track.”

Mayor Farbridge is the Community Champion for the Challenge, responsible for building support for a shared vision, facilitating partner engagement, and inspiring and creating change.

Guelph is one of 45 communities across Ontario chosen to participate. Selection criteria included clear evidence of need among local children and youth, the community’s ability to establish strong partnerships with local businesses, schools and health organizations, and a demonstrated ability to deliver programs for children and youth.

Guelph’s application to the program was led by the Youth Services team in the City’s Community and Social Services division.

For more information

Adam Rutherford
Project Manager, Youth Services
519-822-1260 extension 2703
Adam.Rutherford@guelph.ca