March 6, 2018
New Bills Support Physical Education and Healthy Food Access in Illinois

Two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 2572 and House Bill 4370, recently introduced in the Illinois General Assembly, are poised to strengthen physical education (P.E.) in Illinois' schools. 

With more than one in three  Illinois  children overweight or obese, including an even higher rate for Hispanic and African American children, opporunities for physical activity are more precious than ever before. 

The daily P.E. requirement in schools was removed last year in the new school funding reform law, however these new bills could improve P.E. by requiring a minimum number of minutes of P.E per week - 150 minutes for elementary schools and 225 minutes for secondary schools - as well as limiting district P.E. waivers from this requirement.

If your state senator is on the Senate Education Committee, you will also have the opportunity to tell him/her to vote YES on the senate bill if it comes up for a vote in the Senate Education Committee.

This minutes-per-week policy will bring Illinois into alignment with national best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and SHAPE America. A minutes-per-week requirement provides flexibility to local districts to plan and schedule P.E. while ensuring students get the recommended amount of P.E. per week. P.E. helps with student academic performance, student behavior, and student health.

On the Food Access front, House Bill 4568  and Senate Bill 2588 could serve to strike the end-date of the Healthy Local Foods Incentive Fund program.

The Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund established a double-value coupon incentive program for SNAP recipients in the State of Illinois. Studies have shown that providing financial incentives to SNAP participants to purchase fruits and vegetables at farmers markets helps to increase fruit and vegetable consumption of those participants. Additionally, each dollar spent at a farmers market can generate $1.80 for the community's economy, creating stimulus for local healthy food providers.  

Last year, CLOCC and many of our partners successfully advocated for the passage of the Healthy Local Foods Incentive Fund, however the appropriation for the fund was not made in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. 

Food access advocates are now seeking the appropriation, and also moving to strike the end-date of the program (currently set to expire June, 2019) to allow time for full implementation.

To help move this legislation forward, have your organization sign-on in support of the bill by adding its name to the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund fact sheet. To add your name to the list, please email Sarah Chusid at the IPHI.

Photo: Action for Healthy Kids

Host an Every Kid Healthy Week Event, April 23-27

Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements. This special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts of schools to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning, highlighting the fact that healthy kids are better prepared to learn. 
Join them in celebrating the sixth annual Every Kid Healthy(TM) Week from April 23-27 by helping schools host fun and interactive health-promoting events. 

For more information on how to get involved and additional resources to help you plan an event, go to
5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources
New Study Released: 

Asheley Cockrell SkinnerSophie N. RavanbakhtJoseph A. SkeltonEliana M. PerrinSarah C. Armstrong

More Childhood Obesity News:

  • Action for Healthy Kids will grant to nearly 250 schools to support increased breakfast participation. Startup grant amounts range up to $3,000 and will be determined based on a school's ability to provide breakfast at no charge for all students. To be eligible schools must participate in the National School Breakfast Program and have a free and reduced percentage of 40% or greater. Schools previously funded for breakfast efforts are invited to apply for Sustainability/Expansion grants of $1000. Applications are due April 6, 2018.
  • The Northwestern University Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS)/Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) will fund Seed Grants that support the development of partnerships and projects that engage communities and stakeholders in research collaboration with Northwestern research teams. Partnership Development awards: Up to $5,000 and up to 12 months. Research Development awards: Up to $20,000 and up to 24 months. Priority will be given to applications focused on addressing health inequities in Chicagoland communities. Application deadline is April 6, 2018.
  • The Kresge Foundation will begin accepting applications on April 2nd for its Emerging Leaders in Public Health (ELPH) initiative - "an 18-month leadership development initiative aimed at helping current and future local public health department leaders advance innovative models, which improve their organizations and position them for new opportunities to meet the changing health needs of their communities." The deadline is April 30th.
  • The Summer Meals Program grants cycle has opened. Supported by No Kid Hungry, these grants will help organizations expand access to and participation in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported summer meal programs. Mini-grants up to $5,000 are to be used for equipment, personnel, transportation, and other non-food program expenses. New and returning sponsors are eligible to apply for this grant. Mini-Grant Application Deadline is April 13, 2018. To be eligible for Capacity Building grants up to $10,000 you have to be a returning Summer Meals Sponsor with more than two sites under your sponsorship. Applicants interested in this grant contact, Sonianne Lozada at 

T he Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is a nationally recognized leader for community-based obesity prevention. We support, coordinate, and unite partners to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children and families. Our multi-sector approach emerged in Chicago and can be adapted for use anywhere.