A local program that is trying to not only get kids off the couch and active, but also teach them proper eating strategies has received a huge Christmas gift.

Actively Changing Together, or ACT, is a joint effort of Yakima Memorial Hospital, Yakima Family YMCA and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. The program aims to help overweight kids and their parents create a healthy lifestyle by being active and includes advice on proper nutrition.

Saturday saw a big boost to the program as The Safeway Foundation donated $71,120 and Sage Fruit $15,000 to help fund ACT.

In a press release, Kate Sansom, ACT! program coordinator, said the funding will allow some expansion of the program and even more kids and their families can be involved.

“We are so grateful to the Safeway Foundation and to Sage Fruit for their recognition and continued support of the program.”

With the additional money, there will now be six sessions in 2014; three in English and three in Spanish.

The 12-week program is completely voluntary and based on a curriculum created by Children's Hospital in Seattle. There is a 90-minute group session and two physical fitness activity sessions per week.

ACT has seen 71 families complete the program thus far and the next group of kids will start their program in January.