January 30, 2018
The New Orleans CATCH project aims to increase physical activity and healthy eating, reduce obesity, and create health-promoting environments for approximately 18,000 students in 40 elementary schools in the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS). Jefferson Parish borders the city of New Orleans to the west and south and is the largest school system in Louisiana, educating nearly 50,000 students in pre-K to 12th grade. JPPSS serves a high percentage of low-income and minority youth – 78% eligible for free or reduced lunch, 41% African American, 24% Hispanic – factors associated with higher rates of overweight and obesity. Funded by a generous grant from the Humana Foundation, and in partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, phase 1 of this project began in August 2016 with the implementation of CATCH in 8 schools (4,200 students) and concluded in July 2017. With ongoing support from the Humana Foundation, phase 2 is expanding CATCH to an additional 16 elementary schools and 7,000 students during the 2017-2018 school year. An anticipated third phase will bring CATCH to another 16 schools and 7,000 students during the 2018-2019 school year.