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New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Fit Families Program Receives Grant From Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico to Build Program Capacity in Dona Ana County

The New Mexico State University (NMSU) Foundation, on behalf of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service Fit Families Program, announced today that it received a $21,500 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative. The Fit Families Program’s commitment to providing the people of New Mexico with practical, research-based knowledge to improve their quality of life aligns with the vision of BCBSNM’s HKHF grant program to help improve the health of children and their families in local communities. The grant will help NMSU build on the success of Fit Families in Las Cruces by expanding the program for the first time to Anthony.

“Fit Families is an opportunity for families to interact and build bonds that support a healthy lifestyle,” said Lucinda Banegas-Carreon, MPH, CHES, Fit Families Program Manager. “Fit Families is an important way for kids and adults to learn together and connect with others in a fun, positive environment!”

“We are proud to support NMSU’s Fit Families, which makes a positive impact on families’ health, wellness and overall quality of life,” said Janice Torrez, associate vice president of external affairs and chief of staff, BCBSNM. “Through education about nutrition, physical activity and mental wellness, Fit Families provides an evidence-based program to help combat childhood obesity in Doña Ana county. Incorporating the whole family into the process is crucial to promoting the healthy development of children.”

HKHF is a signature program of BCBSNM. The initiative focuses on engaging children and their families in understanding the importance of nutritious food, raising the level of physical activity, better managing chronic conditions and promoting safe environments. Likewise, the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service Fit Families Program works to promote better nutrition through increased fruit and vegetable consumption, provide ideas to increase physical activity that families can do together, and encourage positive self-esteem and communication within the family unit. The 12-week class series teaches the entire family kitchen safety skills, cooking tips, nutrition information and ways to make physical activity fun for the whole family. For more information please contact Lucinda Banegas-Carreon at 575-646-2034 or send her an email.

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