Federal grant to target tobacco, obesity in Missouri

Thursday, July 22, 2010 | 3:07 p.m. CDT; updated 2:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 7, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri Foundation for Health has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to reduce obesity and tobacco use in low-income communities.

The nonprofit foundation was one of 11 selected nationally to receive the first-ever Social Innovation Fund grants. The money comes from a federal agency known as the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The program uses federal grants to leverage additional private money. The Missouri Foundation for Health plans to add some of its own money to the $2 million grant, then distribute the funds to up to 20 other nonprofit groups across the state.

Those local nonprofits also will have to put up matching funds. The federal grant is expected to result in an $8 million program in Missouri.


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tom kelly July 22, 2010 | 10:17 p.m.

I don't understand this at all. Whether low income or not, what information or strategies can you possibly have for obesity or smoking that people don't already know?

Are you saying low income people can't read, or need help saying NO to food or cigs? What is this nonsense?

Don't eat or smoke. That covers it. Can I have the 2 mil ?

(Report Comment)
Anne Christnovich July 23, 2010 | 10:12 a.m.

It isn't that residents of low income areas can't read or need help "saying no to food."

Rather, studies being done in the last decade or so are showing that low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to healthy, affordable foods.

Here's an interesting article relating to obesity in low-income areas:

As far as smoking education goes, low-income areas often don't enjoy educational programs such as D.A.R.E. Some reports indicate heightened stress for those with more money worries is linked to turning to smoking, drugs or alcohol to cope.

Missouri may be one of the recipients for this program because of the increase in youth hunger in the last year. According to, Missouri has the fifth highest rate of child food insecurity for children under the age of 18.

You can download the PDF of the full report here:

Thanks for your comment!

Anne Christnovich
Missourian assitant city editor

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 23, 2010 | 12:04 p.m.

("low-income neighborhoods don't have easy access to healthy, affordable foods.")

Low-income neighborhoods=clusters of people in a political party's jurisdiction where food stamps, WIC, AFDC/TANF, food pantries, HUD, Medicaid, "free clinics," the best urban mass transit, and unreported income from drug and other criminal activity prevails.

Easy access? Define easy.
"A food desert is generally defined as a location where residents have to travel twice as far to get to the nearest supermarket as their peers in wealthier parts of town."

1. Supermarkets proliferate in neighborhoods where lower levels of crime and well behaved, appreciative consumers become loyal customers.
2. Traveling twice as far to get to a Schnuck's or a Gerbe's in St. Louis from North Kings Highway should be no greater hardship than a resident South near "the Hill" getting to one. (The only difference is "the Hill" has more family-run delis and North Kings Highway has a Popeyes.)
3. Where are the local urban neighborhood Churches in educating the poor, obese, smoking and drinking residents of these urban areas? Why is it the government's job to fund initiatives such as this.
4. Just more wasted bureaucratic dollars being thrown out to buy votes and party loyalty. This money will not help solve the health and life-style problems being spewed by any of these "reports."

(Report Comment)

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