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County will get $16M to promote nutrition and fitness

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Tuesday that a $16.1 million allocation of federal stimulus funds will be used to promote improved nutrition and physical fitness policies in San Diego County.

The disbursement will allow the county Health and Human Services Agency to establish a local food distribution center to increase access to healthy nourishment, especially in “high need” areas, according to the governor’s public information office.

In addition, the funding will underwrite educational programs — including before- and after-school physical activities — that fight obesity and discourage smoking and other unhealthy habits.

The award is part of $55 million in public health stimulus funding earmarked for San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, a program funded under the federal Recovery Act.