Health Forward Awards Nearly $4 Million in Healthy Lifestyles Grants

In response to the increase in overweight and obesity in its service area, the Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) has awarded nearly $4 million in Healthy Lifestyles grants to 25 agencies.

Health Forward received a record 85 applications totaling $14.8 million in requests. External reviewers from outside the service area reviewed the applications and their recommendations were forwarded to the Health Forward Board of Directors for their approval.

“Since our inception, the Health Care Foundation has been dedicated to promoting healthy behaviors around well-known risks like physical inactivity, poor nutrition and tobacco use by providing grants to agencies that help people develop the skills and motivation to translate knowledge into action,” said Larry Blankinship, Chairman of the Health Forward Board of Directors. “We are proud to award these grants to agencies that help advance our vision of Healthy People in Healthy Communities.”

At its May 21 board meeting, Health Forward awarded the following grants:

Three-year $370,758 to the University of Missouri Extension Council of Jackson County to expand the Eating from the Gardens program to approximately 40 schools and community centers and reach over 1,200 youth in Kansas City and Jackson County.
Two-year $350,000 to Score 1 for Health to expand health screening services to more children with programming to include nutrition counseling and lifestyle coaching.
Three-year $344,152 to American Heart Association for a continuation grant to expand its Healthy Schools Program and add 40 more schools. The program supports schools in developing healthy school environments.
Three-year $325,000 to Children’s Mercy Hospital to expand the PHIT KIDS program to children with special health care needs such as Autism and Down Syndrome and to pilot a shortened 12-week PHIT Kid’s curriculum.
Two-year $248,534 to Mattie Rhodes Center and UMKC Institute for Human Development to implement a pilot of the nationally recognized Salsa, Sabor y Salud program for low-income Latino families in Kansas City with a culturally competent healthy lifestyles program.
Three-year $250,000 to Independence School District for a continuation grant to implement Nutrition Detectives and ABCs of Fitness in the Raytown School District and to pilot an additional family and community component in Independence.
Two-year $200,000 to KC Healthy Kids to support the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition, which advocates and advances efforts to increase healthy eating and active living opportunities to decrease childhood obesity in Greater Kansas City.
Two-year $200,000 to The Family Conservancy to offer residents of the Juniper Gardens public housing project the Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids program, which provides nutrition, fitness and family support services to pregnant and parenting adolescents.
$175,000 to The Society of St. Andrew to expand outreach volunteer efforts, farm recruitment, strengthen its gleaning network and extract a large volume of produce donations to benefit people who seek emergency food assistance in the Kansas City region.
$168,419 to Harvesters to support the expansion of Harvester’s Kids Café, Kids in the Kitchen and Project Strength programs.
Three-year $150,000 to Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture for the Juniper Gardens Training Farm and Farm Business Development Program, which trains low-income people to grow and sell vegetables.
$135,000 to Unified School District 257for the Fit and Fun program, which provides programming around fitness and nutrition issues for 375 children enrolled in the SAFEBASE program through the Iola School District.
Two-year $131,250 to Truman Medical Centers for Breastfeeding and Beyond, a project to reduce childhood obesity by encouraging breastfeeding, ensuring appropriate foods and the promotion of support systems that includes the integration of nutritional awareness and skills development for mothers.
$128,370 to the Maternal and Child Health Coalition of Greater Kansas City for a continuation grant to support the Eat Small and Weighing in Childhood Obesity Collaborative, a public awareness campaign that promotes a message of portion control to 8-12 year olds.
$108,000 to the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute for Healthy Hawks, an in-depth clinical intervention for overweight children and their families.
$95,000 to the Metropolitan Official Health Agencies of the Kansas City Area to educate parents and other caregivers about the dangers of secondhand smoke.
$76,193 to the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association for its Argentine Healthy Foods Initiative: Bringing a supermarket to a diverse community, an effort to move towards securing a neighborhood grocery store.
Two-year $72,097 to Lafayette County – University of Missouri Extension to implement an Active and Healthy Schools Program in the Leslie Bell Elementary School in Lexington, Missouri.
Two-year $69,482 to Thrive Allen County to support its Smoke Free Allen County effort to advocate for clean indoor air ordinances in six Allen County municipalities and at the county level.
$68,057 to YMCA of Greater Kansas City to support the Healthy Kids Project, a research-tested program for pre-school children in early learning centers that provides physical activity and offers nutritious, lower-fat breakfasts, snacks and lunches for children.
Three-year $64,000 to Donnelly College for Healthy Horizons, a project that focuses on fitness and nutrition opportunities for students.
$54,251 to DeLaSalle Education Center for a healthy lifestyles program to educate students about the importance of good nutrition and exercise, including improving nutritional value of breakfast and lunch meals served at DeLaSalle.
$52,540 to Kansas City Urban Youth Center to expand its Healthy Choices program to parents and family members of participating youth.
$50,000 to Friends of Yates for Eating Smart, Healing Lives, a new program that will provide a nutrition education for victims of domestic violence.
Three-year $49,436 to Elm Creek Community Garden to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income citizens in Allen County, Kansas, including the creation of additional free gardening plots and handicapped-accessible gardening beds.