USD 351 Macksville awarded Healthy Habits for Life Grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Macksville School District 351 is one of 155 schools covering 62 Kansas Counties to be awarded a Healthy Habits for Life grant by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation. The grant for $981.58 to Macksville comes as a result of an application submitted by School Nurse Becky Filbert.

“We’re very excited about the BCBSKS grant because other funding sources are being stretched thin, making it hard to find funds to do special projects,” Filbert said.

Macksville USD 351 will use the funds to provide weekend meals for children at risk.

“We’ll make backpacks with food to send home to provide healthy weekend meals that don’t require preparation, like sandwiches, fruit cups and milk,” said Filbert, who is in her 19th year as Macksville School Nurse.

She wrote the grant application last fall and kept her fingers crossed, she said, knowing there would be stiff competition for the BCBSKS funds. She said she was elated upon learning that the grant to Macksville was the only one awarded in the region.

“We’re hoping that by providing healthy weekend lunches for at-risk students, we will help set them on a path of healthy eating habits for life,” Filbert said.

This marks the 13th year that BCBSKS has provided Healthy Habits for Life grant funds. The goal of the funding is to help children reduce cardiovascular risk, increase physical activity or learn healthy eating habits, according to Marlou Wegener, chief operating officer of the BCBSKS Foundation.

Wegener said school nurses, teachers and administrators receiving grants will use the funding for programs in 2019 that continue BCBSKS Foundation’s focus on lowering the incidence of childhood obesity in Kansas.

The amount of each grant was based on the applicant’s request, up to a maximum of $1,000. Competition for the grants was open to all school districts or private schools within the service area of the BCBSKS Foundation, which excluded only Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.