USCM and beverage industry award a total of $445,000 in grants for 2015, expand partnership for three more years 

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced today the winners of 2015 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards, during its 83rd Winter Meeting in Washington, DC. The awards went to cities with outstanding programs that encourage healthy weight through balanced diet choices and regular physical activity.

The grant program is the result of a partnership between USCM and the American Beverage Association (ABA), to support and/or enhance mayors’ ongoing childhood obesity prevention programs in their cities. The program also includes a national public awareness campaign, and connects mayors with innovative, cost-effective strategies to successfully reduce childhood obesity in their cities. 

USCM and ABA also announced today that the partnership will be extended for an additional three years with support from the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America

Six U.S. cities were recognized for their mayoral-based initiatives: 

Green Bay, WI Jacksonville, FL Lima, OH New Haven, CT North Miami, FL Seattle, WA 

“With today’s announcement, this initiative has awarded more than $1.3 million in childhood obesity prevention funding over the past three years,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “More than that, I believe this partnership has advanced the science on childhood obesity prevention, by identifying and supporting innovative programs that have the potential to be replicated in communities across the country.  The Conference of Mayors is extremely proud of this partnership, and I look forward to continuing our good work with the American Beverage Association to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in this country.” 

The grant awards are divided into small, medium and large city categories, with first place and second place awards given in each category. An independent panel of judges evaluated each program submitted for consideration based on innovation, creativity, replicability and potential impact.

“We’re proud to continue our work on this initiative with the U.S. Conference of Mayors because of the positive impact it will have on families nationwide,” said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “We’re excited to see that previous award winners are growing programs in their communities that are focused on reducing and preventing obesity.  This partnership proves that working together drives meaningful results, and has a real impact in America’s hometowns.”

The partnership with USCM builds upon long-standing work by the non-alcoholic beverage industry to support nutrition education for children, strengthen communities and empower consumers. It is another public-private partnership dedicated to making a real difference.

A brief description of each winning program appears below.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are more than 1,200 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Find us at, on, or follow us on Twitter at

The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s website at or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.



Large City

1st Place ($150,000) – Jacksonville (FL) Mayor Alvin Brown

I'm A Star Foundation - "Let's Move Jacksonville" and "Healthy Corner Stores"

This initiative targets youth in Duval County’s Health Zone One (HZ1) in Northwest Jacksonville.   HZ1 residents experience the county’s highest mortality rate due to diabetes-related conditions – 116.2 deaths per 100,000 residents.  Residents’ lack of access fresh fruits and vegetables is considered to be a significant contributor to this.  The project will establish two Healthy Corner Stores in existing food deserts in HZ1. Consistent with the vision and mission of the I’m A Star Foundation, the project will be designed and implemented entirely by youth. The young people will partner with churches and community organizations, corner store owners, and local farmers’ markets to make fresh fruits and vegetables available to HZ1 residents at a reduced cost. A number of educational and fitness initiatives are also planned for the target population, including intergenerational workshops, youth-led childhood obesity prevention summits, year-round biking and other physical activity.

2nd Place ($25,000) – Seattle (WA) Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Farm-To-Table (F2T) Partnership

Farm to Table (F2T) aims  to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among Seattle’s most at-risk kids, through increasing fruits and vegetables served at meals at child care, preschool, and before and after-school care sites, and by getting more fruits and vegetables home to the kids served at these sites. Complementary nutrition education for kids, parents, and staff helps create a culture change at meals, so that these added fruits and vegetables are eaten and enjoyed. F2T includes three primary components: encouraging child care, preschool, and before and after-school sites to purchase fresh food from local farmers;  nutrition education for kids, staff and parents; and providing low-cost local produce for families, to continue  at home the healthy eating habits their children are developing at F2T sites. The funding will allow F2T to expand its activities to additional family centers, childcare, and before and after school programs.


Medium City

1st Place ($120,000) – New Haven (CT) Mayor Toni Harp

Neighborhood Matters! New Haven (NMNH)

Neighborhood Matters! New Haven’ (NMNH) is a partnership between the City of New Haven and Yale University that targets schoolchildren in the Fair Haven and Hill districts in New Haven. The project consists of two main components: Cooking Matters, a school and neighborhood-based nutrition education program that will provide nutrition education and training in healthy cooking to children and families; and a neighborhood-based, family oriented physical activities program that will promote increased physical activity and a more active lifestyle in general among the children and their families in the community. The NMNH partnership ultimately envisions moving beyond the two targeted neighborhoods to a city-wide implementation of the program, and has set a rigorous goal of reducing childhood obesity by 20% citywide by 2018.

2nd Place ($25,000) – Green Bay (WI) Mayor James Schmitt


Live54218 aims to create environments in the community that promote, and support residents, in eating 5 fruits and vegetables daily, drinking 4 bottles of water, watching less than 2 hours of screen time, being active for at least 1 hour a day and sleeping 8 hours a night (from which the program name is derived). Over the last year, Live54218 has launched Active Schools: Core 4+, a set of five school-related interventions designed to be implemented in the classroom setting, during recess and physical education classes, before and after school, at home and in the community. An Active Schools pilot resulted in an additional 70 minutes of physical activity per week, or 15 additional minutes daily, and Active After Schools resulted in an average of 90 minutes of additional physical activity each week. Funds will be utilized for staff support, and Live54218 will partner with the Mayor’s Office to expand Active Schools to students throughout Green Bay.


Small City

1st Place ($100,000) – Lima (OH) Mayor David Berger

Cooking for Change

Cooking for Change will bring together high school students from the food management program at Lima Senior High School and the culinary arts program at Apollo Career Center to design and develop a healthy eating initiative that will reduce obesity rates in Lima and Allen County. The program will have seven stages, including a culinary arts competition in which teams of high school culinary arts students from throughout the country take on the challenge of creating a delicious, nutritious school meal for $1 per meal; a Healthy Eating Crockpot 8-week cooking course for families, at the end of which participants and/or the individuals will receive a free crock pot;  healthy recipe/healthy snack cook book and monthly newsletter by student chefs; and supporting student chefs in developing and growing their own home gardens.

2nd Place ($25,000) – North Miami (FL) Mayor Smith Joseph

“Let’s Move North Miami”

The North Miami Parks & Recreation Department administers Let’s Move North Miami at three after-school sites providing services to approximately 120 kids aged 6 to 18. The program includes healthy snacks and thirty minutes of physical activity; funds will be utilized to increase healthy food choices, incorporate food demonstrations and nutrition education by local chefs and nutritionists, contract a certified physical fitness instructor, and implement a curriculum on healthy lifestyle choices. The department will also launch a Mommie and Me nutrition class for children age 2 to 5 and their parents, and promote increased physical activity and healthy eating throughout the community through the monthly Mayor’s Get in Gear Community Bike Ride and two monthly free physical fitness courses marketed toward youth and their families.