Monsanto Fund, American Heart Association and Nemours Announce Joint Effort to Improve Food Access, Promote Nutrition

5-Year, $3.9 Million Pilot Program To Reach 120 Early Care Centers

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While U.S. food security improved last year, approximately 3 million
American households were unable at times to provide adequate, nutritious
food for their children, according
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture
. To address malnutrition and
food insecurity impacting young children (birth to age 5), the Monsanto
Fund is supporting Healthy Food Alliance for Early Education, a joint
program of the American Heart Association and Nemours, with a five-year,
$3.9 million pilot program in the St. Louis region.

Way to Grow
, an initiative started in 2013 to improve nutrition by
addressing childhood obesity, is expanding to include more than 120
early care centers and education programs in the St. Louis region. As a
new component of the program, Healthy Food Alliance for Early Education
will assess challenges related to “food deserts” and help parents
identify nutritious food within their communities, as well as provide
tools and resources to support healthy food environments at home.

“The American Heart Association is committed to helping all Americans
lead heart-healthy lives and recognizes that helping children develop
healthy habits today can lead to a healthier America in the future,”
said Dr. Michael Lim, Board President of the American Heart Association,
St. Louis. “By working with early care centers throughout St. Louis,
Healthy Food Alliance for Early Education will ensure healthy practices
are implemented in these centers every day, with a special focus on
proper nutrition. AHA is pleased to work with organizations like
Nemours, a non-profit children’s health system, and Monsanto Fund to
make a positive impact on children in St. Louis.”

By increasing access to healthy food and promoting healthy eating in
both early care centers and home environments, the pilot program aims to
improve the nutritional health of more than 18,000 children. If
successful, the findings could be replicated beyond St. Louis.

“Malnutrition impacts children and families around the world, whether
through under nutrition, nutritional deficiencies or the growing global
problem of obesity. By providing increased access to healthy foods
during those important first years of life, Healthy Food Alliance for
Early Education addresses the double burden of malnutrition and lays the
foundation for children to carry healthy eating habits into adulthood,”
said Al Mitchell, President, Monsanto Fund.

“Monsanto Fund’s support for this program extends beyond the farm as we
work with dietitians, non-profits and others in the food supply chain to
increase the availability, access and consumption of a variety of
protein sources, fruits and vegetables,” said Mitchell. “Teaming with
the American Heart Association will help us better understand how to
encourage healthy diets among consumers, identify obstacles to healthy
eating and provide assistance to children and families who need help.”

For more information about the program, including resources for early
childhood programs, parents and families, please visit

About Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a
nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where
farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto
Fund at


Monsanto Company
Christi Dixon, 314-694-6397