The grant from Kaiser Permanente was awarded to the city of Ontario aimed to educate the community on food choices, healthy activities, weight management, cooking classes and more.
On Saturday, members of the community joined the mayor and City Council in celebrating Ontario's Healthy Eating, Active Living Zone (HEAL) launch at De Anza Community Park.
The event will feature several booths and activities which helps promote the HEAL initiative.
"Health is a state of mind. People often think of health as a medical clinic," Mayor Paul Leon. "I'm excited of launching this program and helping people with opportunities for health and healthy eating and exercise."
The grant was first awarded to the city in January 2012. Ontario is only one of six HEAL Zones across Southern California which also include Anaheim, Long Beach, Riverside, Ventura and Lemon Grove in San Diego.
This HEAL Zone Coalition has just finished a nine-month planning phase and is starting the implementation phase which will continue over the next three years.
The city has partnered with Ontario-Montclair School District, Chaffey Joint Union High School District, Reach Out, Kids Come First, Ontario-Montclair YMCA, Pitzer College and Loma Linda School of Religion to implement strategies that specifically address the three goals of the grant:
Decrease calorie consumption.
Increase consumption of healthy food and beverages (fruits, vegetables and water).
Increase physical activity.
At the end of the three-year program, the communities will incorporate walking and biking on safe routes; buying affordable fresh fruits and vegetables close to home; exercising in parks, and participating in active after-school programs as part of daily life.
One of the key components of the initiative is addressing the obesity epidemic. In California, half of all adults are obese or overweight.
In San Bernardino County, the obesity rate is even higher, with two out of three residents considered overweight or obese.
"A lot of that has to do with your surrounding," Leon said.
Reach Liset via email, call her at 909-483-8556, or find her on Twitter @DBOntarioNow.