The Eldon school district is a new receipent of more than $100,000 worth of a grant in the first year of a five year commitment with the Missouri Foundation for health.
During a kick-off luncheon and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Amy Stringer-Hessel with the foundation, told the crowd of community members and school officials that childhood obesity is a "major issue for communities all over the United States and Eldon is not the exception."
The Eldon School District was chosen for the grant and partnership based on their needs.
Stringer-Hessel reminded the crowd how important making healthy choices and providing students with the right opportunities is during school hours.
"Kids spend half of the waking hours and eat half the food that get that day at school," Stringer-Hessel said.
Community members including local Lions and Kiwanis clubs, Eldon Chamber, City and county officials were all in attendance.
Dr. Scott Griswold with Capitol Region Medical Center spoke of the changes he has seen in childrens' health over the last 15 years.
"This problem will self -perpepuate itself unless we do something to change it," Griswold said.
Superintendent Matt Davis thanked attendees for coming and spoke of the benefits of the grant. Davis spoke of the salad bar that is already in place in cafeterias across the district.
"You give them good food, good fun and that makes for a good future," Davis said.
After Davis spoke, fourth grade students and teachers showed attendees the type of 'good fun' that this grant allows for by showing off their dance moves in a Wii Dance off. Kids and teachers enjoyed themselves and exercised at the same time.
The grant also has a community component that allows for a community organization to receive a grant for healthy uses. The organization will choose how to best utilize the funds. The organization will be announced in December.