The Knox County Health Department is excited to announce that it is the recipient of funding from the Y-12 Federal Credit Union Gives Foundation which works to reduce the number of undernourished children in the community.

KCHD will utilize the funding on sustainable strategies to address childhood food and nutrition insecurity, as well as promote student health and wellness through the department’s Nutrition Education Activity Training (N.E.A.T.) program.

In January 2022, N.E.A.T. piloted a new initiative, N.E.A.T. Harvest, to improve diet quality among students and families in Knox County. N.E.A.T. Harvest is a partnership between KCHD, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, and afterschool organizations including the YMCA of East Tennessee, Shora Foundation, and the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation. Second Harvest Food Bank delivers fresh boxes of fruits and vegetables directly to the participating afterschool programs each month for the students to take home and enjoy with their families.

“This spring, the N.E.A.T. Harvest program served 120 students and their families each month,” said Abigail Ford, registered dietician nutritionist at KCHD. “With the generous support of the Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation, we hope to increase our capacity to more students and their families this fall.”

The N.E.A.T. Program implements educational activities with the students during the afterschool time to build skills that have been linked to increased fruit and vegetable consumption among children such as developing a taste preference for fruits and vegetables, building confidence in preparing and eating fruits and vegetables, and being willing to try new foods. N.E.A.T. also implements activities that engage the whole family to encourage the adoption of healthy eating behaviors at home.

More information about the N.E.A.T. program can be found here.