The $844 million Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, Oklahoma City, awarded $191,000 in grants this year to 21 communities to promote healthy lifestyles throughout the state.
The trust has now awarded a total of $377,000 in Healthy Communities Incentive Grants in the first two years of the three-year program, said Julie Bisbee, public information and outreach officer for the endowment trust.
“It needs to be a pro-health project that can enhance the health of the community,” Ms. Bisbee said. The grants are aimed at promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition, and include projects such as bicycle and walking trails, exercise equipment, basketball and tennis courts, and sidewalk improvements.
The grants are specifically for tobacco and alcohol prevention, and promoting healthy habits. There has been a 17% increase in the number of cities becoming Certified Healthy Communities since the program began, a stipulation to receiving a grant.
The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust was created in 2000 with settlement payments from a multistate lawsuit against the tobacco industry.