With the nation’s eighth-highest obesity rate, Oklahoma continues to face challenges in improving the health of our residents. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has joined forces with local organizations to take action to create a healthier community. Through our Wellness Initiative, we support community-based programs that make it easier for citizens to engage in a sustainable course of daily exercise, healthy eating and other wellness activities, minimizing the potential of future illness and disease. Since 2014, we have awarded $476,984 in grants to 14 organizations to support community wellness programs.
One Wellness Initiative grant recipient that is making a difference in the health of Oklahoma City residents is Metro Technology Centers. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has awarded $60,000 in grants to the organization to support a free community wellness program. The MetroFit program offers a variety of free fitness classes to the public at Metro Tech’s Springlake and South Bryant campuses. Since the program began, participants have reported an overall increase in regular physical activity, with 14 percent of attendees exercising more than four hours per week.
“The MetroFit program has more than doubled in capacity and enhanced the lives of our community through physical activity and nutritional education, which resulted in lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, weight loss, enhancing self-esteem and so much more,” said Valerie McMurry, Metro Technology Centers Wellness Coordinator. “Our MetroFit Wellness Community program expansion could not have been possible without the financial support of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.”
Organizations interested in collaborating to improve health outcomes for Oklahomans are welcome to join our Central Oklahoma Wellness Alliance by contacting Sally Ray, at 405/606-2930. Groups with community-based wellness programs interested in applying for a grant can learn more at occf.org/wellnessinitiative. Individuals looking to participate in community wellness activities can visit GetMovingOKC.org for an event calendar, as well as information about trails, parks, and other facilities where residents can get moving.