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Dannon puts more bucks behind nutrition

By staff reporter , 14-Aug-2009

Dairy giant Dannon is investing in improving the nutrition of children in the United States as part of its efforts to promote healthy nutrition in the communities where it is active.

Danone, French parent company of the US Dannon branch, has made a long-standing commitment to contributing to the people and communities where it is present.

As well as adapting its business model where relevant to achieve this, the firm has also made significant monetary investments over the years. In 2006, Dannon set up its Next Generation Nutrition Grants program, which provides a total of $120,000 in grants to promote childhood nutrition education in each of the four communities where its facilities are located.

Good nutrition – on low income

The firm this week announced that part of the grant this year is going to the Tarrant Area Food Bank to support its Operation Frontline nutrition program.

The program, which is aimed at families and their children in north central Texas, uses cooking classes to low-income families to help them maintain good nutrition on a limited budget. Since its start in 2007, the Food Bank program has reached 500 families. This year, it hopes to reach 325 families.

"I am pleased that a company like Dannon understands the importance of proper nutrition and is demonstrating it through the support of the Tarrant Area Food Bank," said State Representative Mark Shelton.

Educating children

So far, Dannon says its Next Generation Nutrition Grant-funded programs have reached over 1,100 children in Tarrant.

“Among participants in the 2006 grant recipient program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas' Eating Well Together reported an 83 percent increase in those who took part in organized physical education and a 60 percent increase in those who drank milk twice per day,” said the firm.

As well as the $30,000 grant to the Food Bank, Dannon earlier announced an equivalent grant to the I.J. & Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center in Salt Lake County.

Other communities where Dannon’s facilities are based will also be benefiting via grants through non-profit groups. The firm’s plants in the US are located in Auglaize County, Ohio; Salt Lake Counties, Utah; Tarrant County, Texas; and Westchester County, N.Y.

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