Live Well Crawford County looks to improve public health with $215,000 grant

PITTSBURG, Kan. - When you're on a budget and your stomach is growling, do you go for the $1 tasty and filling cheeseburger or do you reach for a $5 salad? Now, Live Well Crawford County wants to change that.
 
"The challenge with healthy foods in our county is that there's a lack of it so we're trying to increase the access to healthy foods. We're trying to make it more affordable so that the healthy chose is the easy choice," explained Live Well Crawford County Director Brad Stroud.
 
The organization is made up of business professionals who promote healthy living in the county. They plan to ask businesses and schools to commit to changes to make their facility healthier.
 
"Work sites are really a critical place where if there's an opportunity before an employer, to look at the way the job is affecting the health of their employees. Obviously, employers want healthy employees, so it's a win, win for everybody," said Virginia Barnes, the Director of Blue Health Initiatives.
 
In order to make the changes, Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas has awarded the group with a $215,000 grant to be divided throughout the county.
 
"It's not that we just aren't healthy or we are lazy--it's that we can't get the types of support we need. Live Well Crawford County does a nice just saying making the easy choice the healthy choice," said Barnes. 
 
In addition to helping people make healthier choices, members of Live Well Crawford County say it can attract businesses.
 
"Walk ability and bike ability in our communities are an attractive thing for businesses that are going to possibly locate in Pittsburg or any of the other surrounding communities," said Strout.
 
Crawford County is one of eight recipients of the grant. Members of Live Well Crawford County say the first project will be extending the Watco Trail. 

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