Foundation assistance includes immediate funding for COVID-19 relief, food label and operational support, and access to financial grant opportunities to address staff training and equipment needs
Leadville Race Series owner and producer Life Time, Inc., announced a partnership that will deepen the Company’s commitment to Lake County. Specifically, the Life Time Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and charitable arm of Life Time, has partnered with the Lake County School District to increase the amount of scratch-cooked and freshly prepared meals and to assist in the procurement of foods that positively impact a student’s health. The partnership will impact more than 1,000 students across Lake County’s four schools over the course of the next three years.
The partnership officially kicked off earlier this summer with an immediate grant of approximately $88,000 to help the Lake County School District cover costs related to helping families and students during the COVID-19 crisis. The grant specifically helped to fund free meal delivery for students throughout the summer months.
Of the grand total of $220,920 in grant funding for the district, $65,920 was generated by 212 Leadville Race Series athletes who generously chose to donate their already-paid registration fees to the Life Time Foundation after all of the Leadville Race Series events were cancelled this summer due to COVID-19. The remaining $155,000 was generated by over 2,000 participants of the Leadville 100,000 Foot Challenge, a virtual challenge put together by the Leadville Race Series in which riders had 8 weeks and runners had 10 weeks to complete 100,000 feet of elevation gain.
“We’re extremely excited to have Lake County on-board as one of our national school partners in the fight for healthier food,” says Kimo Seymour, President of Events and Media at Life Time who also serves on the Life Time Foundation Board of Directors. “Leadville and the greater community has truly become an extension of our Life Time family and to be able to deepen our impact here is important to us all.”
Moving forward, this three year partnership will center around the creation of sustainable change through the procurement of clean label foods and increase of meals cooked from scratch, while helping the district keep highly-processed foods out of school meals. The Life Time Foundation’s main commitment with the district will be to serve as a supportive partner in removing what they call the Harmful 7, which are highly processed and artificial ingredients identified as negatively impacting student’s health, including:
- Trans Fats & Hydrogenated Oils
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Hormones & Antibiotics
- Processed & Artificial Sweeteners
- Artificial Colors & Flavors
- Artificial Preservatives
- Bleached Flour
With support from the District’s administration, the Food Services team, led by Director of Food Services Julie Mehle, has existing scratch-cooking practices in place that will help create a solid foundation from which the new partnership will be built. The collaboration between both organizations kicked off with guidance by a chef and school food expert, which led to immediate improvements to its menus, including the introduction of locally-sourced beef patties, and is exploring other opportunities for local partnerships.
“We are very impressed with the District’s passion and Ms. Mehle’s personal commitment to our partnership and we are excited to begin assisting with Harmful 7-free food procurement, staff training and possible software and equipment needs that the scratch cooking approach requires,” said Megan Flynn, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Project Manager at the Life Time Foundation.
The district’s goal of offering a menu free of the Harmful 7 begins with an initial label review— which will later be conducted annually to track progress—by Mrs. Flynn, to identify these ingredients along with ongoing support and best practices to help eliminate them. Outside of the school kitchens, the Life Time Foundation’s education curriculum, Hooray 4 Healthy, will be made available for students and parents.
As of August 2020, the Life Time Foundation partners with 25 school districts across the country, which represent 242 million meals served to 1.5 million students per year. For more information about the Life Time Foundation, visit https://www.ltfoundation.org/. For more information about the Lake County School District, visit https://www.lakecountyschools.net/.
About Life Time Foundation® As a public charity created by Life Time, the Life Time Foundation is committed to helping children grow up strong, smart and loved. We believe that for children to reach their full potential, they must have access to nourishing meals. We partner with schools to eliminate the Harmful 7, foods containing highly processed and artificial foods in favor of wholesome, real food alternatives. Unlike many other charitable organizations in which a portion of donations is consumed by administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated to the Life Time Foundation directly supports its mission because all administrative costs are contributed by Life Time, Inc. For more information, visit www.ltfoundation.org.