Who we are
Making Kane County Fit for Kids (Fit for Kids) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes healthy eating and active living initiatives to reduce Childhood Obesity in Kane County. Across Kane County, 44% of 5-17 year olds are overweight or obese, at risk for diabetes, heart failure, and other chronic diseases that could shorten their lives (Data Source: Kane County’s 2014 Community Health Assessment). While there are national and state policies that can create change, Fit for Kids goal is to encourage a culture of health on the local level through countywide mobilization. Maximizing efficient impact, Fit for Kids collaborates with community organizations, schools, day care centers, municipalities, and other partners by funding implementation projects that support the Fit for Kids 2020 Plan, a blueprint to create a Kane County that is “Fit for Kids”. Strategic Action Principles include the following: 1) Provide parents and children with reliable, up-to-date information in multiple settings regarding healthy physical activity and eating habits. 2) Support a culture of wellness and health promotion in our schools, workplaces, and other institutions. 3) Develop land use, planning, and other public polices that foster and support physical activity for all in our community. 4) Assure that fresh fruits and vegetables are affordable and accessible to all families in our community. Strategies affect all Kane County children and families, with particular attention to children most vulnerable or disproportionately affected. Since 2009, Fit for Kids has supported over 100 healthy implementation projects, such as community gardens, bike racks, refrigerators at food pantries, nutrition workshops, Link Card accessibility at farmers markets, safe route education/signage, demonstration wellness kitchens, heart rate monitors and salad bars at schools, playground equipment, and hosting 8 annual National Walk to School Day events.
Reduce childhood obesity in Kane County through healthy eating and active living initiatives, innovative strategies, and community wellness partnerships.
Fit for Kids extensive and diverse service area includes all of the Kane County, IL including 30 Cities and Villages, 16 Townships, and 9 School Districts. According to the 2016 US census estimate, population of Kane County is 531,715, with 10.5% of people living in poverty. two larger cities in Kane County are ranked in the top ten highest populations in Illinois -Aurora #2 and Elgin #8.
o Fit for Kids “Campaign” was launched in 2008 with a Leadership Summit attended by more than 100 executive leaders. This summit provided an in-depth briefing on the childhood obesity epidemic.
o Following the summit, a Fit for Kids Consortium was established to raise and disperse funds to support Fit for Kids campaign initiatives. Since 2009, members of the Consortium have included Kane County Health Department, Fox Valley United Way, Rush-Copley Foundation, United Way of Elgin, and Kane County Division of Transportation. The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, also a member, served as a fiscal agent and a restricted component fund was created to allow tax-deductible donations.
o A Fit Kids 2020 Plan was developed by nine sector-specific work groups that included Built & Natural
Environment, Economic Strength, Faith Community, Family, Culture & Community, Food Policy, Healthcare & Medicine, Mobility, Recreation & Lifestyle, and Schools & Education. Over 80 community stakeholders over 6 months created this written set of policy level strategies and action steps.
o Making Kane County Fit for Kids was formed as an independent 501(c)(3) non profit organization to attract public and private grant funds or donations and be recognized as a national tax deductible entity.
o To date, Fit for Kids has provided over $700,000 to community partners for implementation projects that make long lasting positive health improvements in Kane County.