Health Forward Awards $2.4 Million to Address Healthy Eating and Active Living

Date: June 12, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Sykes
Phone: 816-241-7006
KANSAS CITY, MO –The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) has awarded 26 Healthy Lifestyles grants totaling $2.4 million. These grants support community partnerships that aim to increase opportunities for physical activity and improve access to affordable, healthy foods for children and families. In addition to the 26 grants, Health Forward is also allocating $300,000 for Healthy Lifestyles planning and field building within its service area.

“The places where people live, work and play have a major influence on health outcomes. Many low-income and uninsured families have limited or no access to affordable foods, safe physical environments and an overabundance of tobacco products and advertising. Health Forward is proud to support these agencies in their efforts to create community environments that reinforce healthy choices for the uninsured and underserved in our service area,”said Steve Roling, Health Forward President/CEO.

In December 2012, Health Forward released its Healthy Lifestyles Requests for Proposals (RFP). The Foundation received a total of 66 proposals totaling approximately $7.6 million in requests. The following grants were awarded during the June Board of Directors meeting:

Agency Amount Awarded
Project Description
Argentine Neighborhood Development Association (ANDA) $110,000 To be used in the Argentine community of Kansas City, KS to support collaboration between community members and new community resources that accelerate creating a community environment that reinforces healthy choices, including the creation of a community health food council.
Bike Share KC $32,000 To support planning that will allow Bike Share KC to determine potential locations, identify key community partners, and troubleshoot perceived barriers. Bike Share KC seeks to expand the Downtown bike share system to underserved neighborhoods, providing residents with a new option for physical activity, transportation and recreation.
Center School District Parents As Teachers Program $19,400 To provide necessary project materials to impact healthy habits, achieve public good will, and strengthen collaborative efforts in low income housing complexes in Center School District by providing safe outdoor play equipment.
City of Garden City $45,000 To support consulting fees and initiative-related expenses for the “Active, Healthy, and Safe Garden City” initiative, including a pedestrian safety audit, a city-wide walking and bicycling master plan, pedestrian-friendly sidewalk and roadway policy changes, a community-wide communications plan, a community garden, and healthy eating and active lifestyle education programs.
Cultivate KC, Inc. (formerly KC Center for Urban Ag) $220,000 To support Get Growing Kansas City, a program led by Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City Community Gardens, and Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, to increase access to healthy food in high need communities. The program builds the capacity of growers and community based organizations to produce and distribute locally grown food.
DeLaSalle Education Center $40,000 To support staff and provide supplies and equipment necessary to improve student knowledge of the benefits of good nutrition and exercise; improve eating habits of students and their families; improve access to fresh produce for neighborhood residents; bring more locally grown, fresh produce into the DeLaSalle school cafeteria, other area school cafeterias, and agencies serving meals to low-income residents; and promote the use of locally grown food to the community
Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County — EITAS (EITAS) $72,232 To change policies and practices that improve nutrition and increase physical activity participation among people with developmental disabilities in Jackson County
El Centro, Inc. $65,000 To fund a series of events and meetings with Latino community members to discuss what is important to them when it comes to healthy living, along with imparting knowledge on issues in the community, ways to embrace the healthy lifestyle, and how to advocate and make their voices heard at the local, state, and national level.
Episcopal Community Services Inc $120,000 To provide staff support and essential project materials to more fully address links between food insecurity, nutritional gaps and health outcomes in the greater Kansas City community. This will include building multi-sector advocacy and solutions for the nutrition gap faced by homeless and poor individuals/families and to create nutritionally appropriate safety net resources for food.
Freewheels For Kids Inc $14,160 To start ride clubs in the neighborhoods we serve to provide healthy activities, empower students and make our neighborhoods safer in Kansas City, Kan.
KC Healthy Kids $300,000 To provide staff support, project materials and a study to achieve policy and environmental changes to increase healthy eating and active living in school and community settings in Jackson, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties
Harvesters – The Community Food Network $175,000 To support Harvesters’ nutrition education and healthy eating programs as well as efforts to improve people’s health by focusing on long-term solutions to end hunger.
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council $68,725 To empower residents to grow their own healthy foods, support residents who wish to sell in the neighborhood and continue with the farmers market.
Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) $70,000 To continue the multi-sector NeighborhoodsNOW Health Advocacy Initiative to build broad support for policies that create more healthy urban neighborhoods.
Mattie Rhodes Center $140,000 To support staff, supplies and evaluation for the Gente Sana (Healthy People) comprehensive nutrition and active living project.
Menorah Legacy Foundation $165,000 To provide nutrition incentive SNAP/SFMNP matching funds, farmers market support and Beans&Greens staff support so that low-income persons receiving public food assistance are able to buy healthy food at area farmers markets.
Mother’s Refuge $25,000 To provide staff support, healthy lifestyle training and opportunities, and nutritional foods to achieve policy changes at the organizational level for homeless, pregnant young women, staff members and volunteers.
Niles Home for Children $80,000 To expand and strengthen activities to improve healthy lifestyles for Niles Home youth and increase access to healthy foods for low-income families from the surrounding service area, most of which consists of high concentrations of people of color.
reStart, Inc. $85,000 To support the Healthy Choices program, thereby enabling reStart to provide nutrition education and fitness access for homeless individuals and families, develop agency and community resources and policies to support active living, and create a replicable model of a nutrition and wellness program.
Rosedale Development Association Inc. $71,194 To expand and continue Rosedale Healthy Kids, a community-based project to improve access to affordable healthy food and increase opportunities for physical activity for children and their families in Rosedale, a neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
The Children’s Mercy Hospital $100,000 To provide staff support, consultation and training to increase the proportion of children at a healthy weight through a focus on desired behavioral changes.
The Society Of St. Andrew Inc $121,000 To increase the amount and variety of wholesome fruits and vegetables it provides to food banks and feeding agencies in Missouri and Kansas. Specifically, SoSA West will expand its produce donor recruitment, gleaning network, and large-volume produce.
Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation $50,000 To support staff, marketing, evaluation and supplies/produce for the Healthy Harvest Mobile Market, which provides fresh fruits and vegetables primarily to underserved individuals living in Kansas City’s food deserts and urban core.
Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation $53,000 To provide education, one-to-one support, and staff training that will increase breastfeeding initiation rates and the length of time exclusive breastfeeding is provided, resulting in healthier babies with lower rates of childhood illnesses and obesity in adolescence.
The University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. $100,000 To provide staff and community partner support to create policy and environmental change in Latino neighborhoods
University of Missouri Extension Council of Jackson County $58,289 To integrate nutrition and gardening directly into local schools and bring about system change in the school cafeteria, classrooms and homes of the students.
The Healthy Lifestyles grants are the first Foundation Defined Grants (FDGs) awarded by the Foundation in 2013. Mental health grants will be announced in August 2013. Health Forward announced the final RFP of 2013, Safety Net, in mid-June. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website at

-Health Forward-

ABOUT Health Forward
The Health Forward Foundation provides leadership, advocacy and resources that eliminate barriers to quality health for the uninsured and underserved in Kansas City, Mo., Cass, Jackson and Lafayette counties in Missouri and Allen, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Since it began grantmaking in 2005, Health Forward has awarded over $160 million to agencies addressing health needs in the community. For more information, visit