Nonprofits win grants to promote nutritional equity

Ken Hayward. Courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Five local nonprofits will receive grants to improve health equity through Michigan’s local food systems.

Scheduled to begin in January, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and the WK Kellogg Foundation will provide $ 650,000 in grants to 14 Michigan nonprofits for their efforts. aimed at remedying food and nutrition disparities. Organizations in West Michigan that will receive grants include Access of West Michigan, Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association, Community Action House, Barry County Community Foundation, and RISE Corp.

“We are proud to partner with these grant recipients who are dedicated to improving access to healthy, nutrient-dense foods, addressing an important social determinant of health, preventing chronic disease and improving health. and well-being in general, ”said Ken. Hayward, vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and special assistant to the president of community relations.

Local programming to receive a grant includes:

  • $ 50,000 to Access of West Michigan for its Good Food Systems initiative
  • $ 20,000 to the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association for its expansion of Cesar E. Chavez Farmer’s Market services and community gardening programs
  • $ 75,000 to Community Action House for their advocacy for healthy eating and nutrition at Holland / Zeeland Food Club
  • $ 50,000 to the Barry County Community Foundation for its plan to build a sustainable local food system in Barry County
  • $ 50,000 to RISE Corp for its RISE healthy food community distribution program

Michigan Food Policy Councils and fundraising nonprofits have been invited to submit proposals and provide strategies to meet local and cultural needs within their communities. Those who received funding serve individuals, families, seniors, mothers and children with limited assets, limited incomes and employees (ALICE), as well as Black, Indigenous and Colored communities (BIPOC) . Community initiatives in which there was multi-stakeholder collaboration, addressed health equity and had strong sustainability plans were prioritized.

“The grant partnership with Blue Cross, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the WK Kellogg Foundation is passionately dedicated to ending food and nutrition insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Audrey Harvey, Executive Director and CEO of Blue Croix Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. “The selected organizations and food policy councils have come up with plans to improve their local food systems. Through our collaboration, we are able to invest in interventions designed to meet the needs of individuals from all walks of life that meet their needs, setting them on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

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