Health Forward awards $3 million in Healthy Communities Grants

Date: June 27, 2018
Contact: Jennifer Sykes

Kansas City, MO — The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) is proud to award $3 million in grants to 27 nonprofit organizations through our 2018 Healthy Communities funding.

These programs support environments and policies that promote equitable opportunities for healthy eating, active living, and tobacco use prevention.

“We are proud to partner with organizations that ensure everyone has an opportunity for better health. Supporting this work is one of the best ways to make sure healthy habits become the norm,” said Bridget McCandless, M.D., President/CEO.

Health Forward received a total of 66 proposals totaling nearly $9.7 million in requests.

The following grants were awarded during the June board of directors meeting:

Agency Award Grant Description
After the Harvest $153,091 To increase the amount and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available to food banks and feeding agencies in Missouri and Kansas.
BikeWalkKC $146,500 To implement the first two years of a five-year policy agenda to achieve healthy, equitable solutions that address health disparities, improve multi-modal transit options, and advance community engagement.
Calvary Community Outreach Network $69,000 To provide fitness and nutrition programming and build advocacy capacity among neighborhood and faith-based partners in four urban core zip codes of Kansas City, Missouri.
Cornerstones of Care $103,371 To support an outdoor and farm skills education program that provides experiential learning opportunities and introduces healthy foods and lifestyle habits to children with behavioral and emotional challenges.
Covenant Presbyterian Church $53,692 To offer healthy eating and active living classes, exercise opportunities, increased access to healthy foods, and intensive nutrition coaching for food pantry clients. The church will also develop health leaders in the community and a wellness center advisory council.
Cultivate Kansas City $131,251 To increase the number of local and refugee farmers growing and selling fresh fruits and vegetables as a path to self sufficiency.
Guadalupe Centers $72,364 To increase access to exercise and recreation for the underserved Westside neighborhood by developing a new youth sports and recreation area and a new youth center.
Harvesters $125,000 To improve technology required to manage logistics and outreach programs and increase fresh produce distribution.
Healing House $100,000 To support the expansion of the Healing House Recovery Community Center through culinary training, staffing, and education.
Heartland Conservation Alliance $99,761 To empower urban core communities to restore and sustainably care for vacant lots. Restoration projects will provide a healthy environment and community-based education on healthy living.
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council $95,000 To build upon existing quality of health approaches by empowering residents and providing resources and equitable environments to make informed decisions.
Jewish Vocational Service $60,000 To transform vacant lots into garden spaces, and increase access to healthy and affordable food for refugees in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast.
Kansas City Community Gardens $124,500 To provide essential gardening support and education to more than 20,000 households through partnership with community organizations and schools.
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences $175,000 To support expansion of the Coaching Health and Movement Program with Students (CHAMPS) to help parents and children get the resources they need to make healthier choices.
City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Administration $115,000 To expand a place-based approach to mobilizing residents living in zip codes where people live below the federal poverty level and life expectancy rates are less than other areas of the city.
KC Healthy Kids $75,000 To advance policies and practices that support healthy eating by increasing the use of local foods in schools and community-based institutions.
Legal Aid of Western Missouri $71,512 To support the Adopt-A-Neighborhood Project by pairing neighborhoods with local law firms to address community environmental and health issues.
Mattie Rhodes Center $145,890 To support youth and their families in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast to create safer and healthier community environments through a continuum of services.
Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corporation $127,875 To demonstrate how the benefits of green infrastructure result in community regeneration by connecting high-level planning and policy, community engagement, and neighborhood implementation.
NourishKC $150,000 To meet the needs of low-income, food-insecure individuals through a comprehensive, multi-partner food distribution warehouse.
Reconciliation Services $174,116 To implement the RS Café donate-what-you-can model. The expanded RS Café will continue to provide healthy, wholesome food and serve as a critically needed community hub.
reStart $130,423 To provide access to nutritious food, healthy living education; and to develop safer neighborhoods that improve the health and wellness of homeless persons.
The Don Bosco Community Center $137,706 To provide increased access to healthy food and recreation that improve the health and well-being of low-income seniors, immigrants, and refugees.
The University of Kansas Center for Research $114,368 To train community health ambassadors as change agents for healthier settings among Latinx and African-Americans in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Whole Person $72,080 To develop the Kansas City Accessible Sports Regional Roundtable and three-year Accessible Sports Action Plan and expand a school-based, adaptive sports diversity and inclusion program.
Thrive Allen County $40,000 To promote active transportation and make Allen County a safe and easy place to walk and bike.
Tri-County Mental Health Services $137,500 To reduce use of e-cigarettes by youth in the Kansas City, Missouri, portions of Clay and Platte counties.

The Healthy Communities Grants are the first round of foundation defined grants awarded by Health Forward in 2018. For more information on applying for Health Forward foundation defined grants, visit

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006