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Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Invests $185,500 in Iowa Schools and Communities with Rethink Your Drink Program

Posted on October 21, 2022 in Foundation

Iowa students filling their water bottles at Rethink Your Drink station

Students and staff in 19 Iowa schools, along with visitors to 11 Iowa community spaces, parks and trails now have better access to convenient Elkay water bottle filling stations. Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, along with public and private partners, donated $185,000 in the sixth year of the Rethink Your Drink program.

The Foundation expanded this year’s program to include Iowa communities focusing on parks, trailheads and community gathering areas. Elkay outdoor water bottle filling stations have been installed in 11 Iowa communities to make drinking water more accessible for those participating in outdoor recreational activities.

“Rethink Your Drink has been an impactful program for our Iowa schools by making water more accessible to students and teachers throughout the day,” said Suzanne Heckenlaible, executive director, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “This year the program was expanded to Iowa community spaces, parks and trails to expand access to water while being active. We continue to partner with the Healthiest State Initiative 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count to promote replacing sugary and sweetened beverages with water. The Rethink Your Drink program continues to provide a visible and meaningful way to directly impact the oral and overall health of Iowans.”

Sugary drinks are a leading source of added sugar in our diets. A high intake of sugar among children is associated with being overweight, displacement of milk consumption, and dental cavities. Water is a zero-calorie healthy alternative to sugary drinks that is championed through the Rethink Your Drink program.

The addition of the 19 water bottle filling stations installed in Iowa schools will impact more than 7,000 students and staff. Since Delta Dental created the Rethink Your Drink program in 2017, more than $1.9 million has been invested to place 393 filling stations in Iowa schools, impacting more than 193,000 students and staff.  

Priority is given to schools with a higher percentage of free and reduced lunches in the school district and buildings that did not already have a water bottle filling station.

The Rethink Your Drink program is funded by Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and supported by the Healthiest State Initiative, Iowa Department of Health & Human Services, Iowa Public Health Association, Iowa Department of Education, and Central Sales, Inc.

Click here to see a complete list of the 19 schools and 11 parks and trails added to the Rethink Your Drink program in 2022.