Health Forward awards $3.4 million in Healthy Communities Grants

Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation is proud to award $3.4 million in grants to 36 nonprofit organizations through our 2021 Healthy Communities funding.

These programs support equitable opportunities for healthy eating and active living through policies, systems, and environmental change. 

“Health Forward knows there are many social factors that shape health and health outcomes in our communities,” said Qiana Thomason, President/CEO of Health Forward. “These partnerships represent a commitment to addressing the interconnected influencers of health inequity.”

Health Forward received a total of 72 proposals totaling nearly $10.4 million in requests.

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

Agency Award Grant Description
After the Harvest $80,000  To increase access to nutritious produce for people experiencing food insecurity in Greater Kansas City.
BikeWalkKC $75,000 To conduct strategic advocacy and public policy campaigns that focus on equitable, active living solutions.
Camp Fire $50,000 To promote healthy lifestyles, nutrition, and physical activity through indoor and outdoor programming for youth and families in the Kansas City urban core.
City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department $125,000 To launch a programming, environmental, and policy initiative that will increase access to safe environments for physical activities for people with diverse abilities.
Community Capital Fund $60,000 To promote innovative and measurable community development by focusing on neighborhood capacity and asset-building initiatives that leverage community resources and expertise.
Community Health Council of Wyandotte County $120,000 To engage community members in developing solutions that achieve improved health outcomes for Wyandotte’s communities.
Community Housing of Wyandotte County $86,250 To increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for residents in eastern Wyandotte Co. through urban farming and policy initiatives.
Cultivate KC $100,000 To train and support farmers who grow fruits and vegetables for themselves and their communities.
El Centro $125,151 To support the ¡Cuídate! project, which trains promotoras to engage the Latino community in conversation, and identifies potential solutions aimed at creating healthier communities, environments, and policy changes.
Food Equality Initiative $100,000 To provide consistent, supplemental food access for people with food allergies and celiac disease and who are experiencing food insecurity.
Guadalupe Centers $125,000 To provide healthy, nutritious meals and offer increased communication that will improve the health and well-being of older adults.
Harris Park Midtown Sports and Activity Center $25,000 To provide sports education, life skills training, wellness education, and a safe physical environment for physical activity for the Ivanhoe Neighborhood.
Harvesters $100,000 To strengthen core operations; provide culturally competent services; foster health care partnerships; train agencies to teach nutrition curricula; and partner with agencies to implement programs to make the healthy choice the easy choice for clients.
Heartland Conservation Alliance $152,326 To improve the health of the Blue River Watershed and surrounding communities experiencing disproportionate environmental health impacts. Funds will support youth training and increase access to conservation careers.
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council $90,000 To create the space for a diverse, multigenerational community. Funds will drive investments in health, real estate, and economic development.
Jewish Vocational Service $53,000 To provide access to land and culturally relevant education in order to expand physical environments that support active, healthy living and access to affordable healthy food for refugee growers.
Kanbe’s Markets $102,816 To provide consistent access to fresh and affordable produce to 41 store locations on Kansas City’s east side.
Kansas City Community Gardens $176,072 To collaborate with schools and community groups to establish and sustain food-producing gardens; supply partners with low-cost gardening materials; and provide gardening and cooking workshops for Kansas Citians who lack equitable access to healthy foods.
KC Healthy Kids $100,000 To facilitate stakeholder-led food policy coalitions and to provide youth advocacy programming for elementary and middle school students. 
Legal Aid of Western Missouri $50,000 To collaborate with private law firms and engage volunteer attorneys to provide free civil legal services and improve conditions for residents in Kansas City’s urban core.
LISC Greater Kansas City $100,000 To lead a collaboration of community-based organizations; implement projects that promote health, safety, and physical activity; create a green infrastructure training center and a green workforce program; and increase advocacy for health-related policy.
Mattie Rhodes Center $100,000 To provide Indian Mound in Motion programming to area youth and residents, and to increase access to nutritious foods.
Mt. Carmel Redevelopment Corporation $125,726 To increase the availability and affordability of healthy food and nutrition education for the residents of northeast Wyandotte Co.
Neighborhood Legal Support of Kansas City $65,000 To provide health-focused programming for the residents of the Lykins Neighborhood.
NourishKC $50,000 To distribute more than a million pounds of food to regional food security agencies by 2023.
Operation Breakthrough $83,784 To engage students and their families in outdoor gardening and culinary arts, both of which support healthy food access and healthy lifestyles.
Reconciliation Services $161,000 To provide 20,000 box lunches to people experiencing food insecurity in Kansas City’s urban core.
Rosedale Development Association $99,965 To provide community-oriented programs, services, and advocacy that build the social support, economic stability, and civic engagement Rosedale neighborhoods need for long-term, sustainable health.
Saint Luke’s Foundation $100,000 To support a partnership with Boys & Girls Club of Kansas City that will increase access to healthy foods and bring prevention and wellness programming to the communities surrounding Boys & Girls Club locations.
The Farm School at Gibbs Road $83,680 To provide education; access to local, fresh food, and community engagement; and improve health outcomes in Wyandotte Co.
Thrive Allen County $159,431 To conduct targeted advocacy campaigns and leverage multi-sector partnerships to improve the quality of life for Allen Co. residents by providing equitable access to the local built environment and active transportation options.
Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation $50,000 To convene diverse stakeholders and increase culturally appropriate healthy food access for Jackson Co. residents.
University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute $90,000 To complete a community-driven plan and implement at least four strategies aimed at addressing health disparities experienced by Latinos living in Wyandotte Co.
Urban Neighborhood Initiative $65,493 To empower residents of historically marginalized communities with the knowledge, tools, and platforms necessary to amplify their collective voice and produce long-term change.
Uzazi Village $100,000 To improve perinatal and infant health for people of color in the Kansas City metro area through culturally inclusive, year-round food access, holistic nutrition education, and weekly community meals.
Young Women on the Move $72,000 To spark healthy change in the community by working collaboratively with community partners and by engaging young women in advocacy efforts.

The Healthy Communities Grants are the first round of foundation defined grants awarded by Health Forward in 2021. For more information on applying for foundation defined grants, visit