MINNEAPOLIS — Dreamfields Pasta has launched a new program designed to support local diabetes prevention programs. The Dreamfields 50 States/50 Plates: 2013 Health Initiative encourages grassroots-level programs from all 50 states designed to educate consumers about pre-diabetes/diabetes prevention to apply for one of the initiative’s grants. Applications will be accepted March 1 through Sept. 15.

“The exponential growth of diabetes and pre-diabetes in America is a challenge being tackled by hundreds of health care professionals, individuals and organizations,” said Mike Crowley, president of Dreamfields. “While national programs go a long way in raising awareness for diabetes, it’s the local, grassroots programs put on by community health care heroes that have a major impact on actually changing lives. The 50 States/50 Plates program is just one way we are supporting their mission — and ours — to make America healthier.”

To apply for a grant through the Dreamfields 50 States/50 Plates program visit www.dreamfieldsfoods.com/50states50plates and click on the application tab. Applicants will be asked to complete a form consisting of a series of questions about themselves and/or their organization and the program for which they intend to use the grant money. From those entries, Dreamfields will select up to 50 programs to be conducted in 2013 to support with a grant of $100 to $500 and up to 100 boxes of pasta.

Programs may range from pre-diabetes awareness tables at local health fairs, to the printing of brochures, to the production of a diabetes prevention video project. All types of awareness programs will be considered. While geographic diversity will be sought, programs will be judged by their merit and thus some organizations or metropolitan areas/states may be awarded more than one grant.

Dreamfields Pasta is manufactured by Dakota Growers Pasta Co.