HCF awards $2.4 million in Healthy Communities grants

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Sykes

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (HCF) has awarded 22 nonprofit organizations a total of $2.4 million in 2015 healthy communities funding. These grants support clean air, active living and access to healthy food.

The HCF Board also approved $300,000 for the continuation of planning and field-building efforts within our service area.

“HCF is proud to support these organizations that are working across sectors on integrated policy approaches to improve access to health foods, opportunities for physical activity, and tobacco use prevention among the uninsured and underserved in our service area,” said Bridget McCandless, M.D., President/CEO of HCF.

In October 2014, HCF released its Healthy Communities Requests for Proposals (RFP). The Foundation received a total of 58 proposals totaling approximately $7.1 million in requests.

The following grants were awarded during the June Board of Directors meeting:

Agency Amount Awarded Project Description
After the Harvest $170,000 To coordinate the acquisition, shipment, and delivery of tractor trailer loads of donated produce to food banks and feeding programs in Missouri and Kansas. Funds will also be spent on organizing gleaning events, enlisting volunteers to gather produce left in fields and orchards after harvest. By increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, After the Harvest endeavors to decrease the risk of obesity and related chronic illnesses in the most underserved populations in our community.
Black Health Care Coalition, Inc. $173,000 To provide staff support, leader training and project materials to develop and implement a policy agenda for a coalition of urban core neighborhoods in Kansas City, Mo.
Communities Creating Opportunity Organization $90,000 To achieve active living and healthy eating for low-income neighborhoods and congregations across Wyandotte County.
Cultivate KC, Inc. $145,165 To support the activities of three programs — Juniper Gardens Training Farm, Beans&Greens, and Get Growing Farms & Foods Projects — that will immediately increase access to healthy food and invest in our community's food system.
Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County — EITAS (EITAS) $90,000 To support the development of community health workers who will help people with developmental disabilities experience an increase in positive health outcomes related to improved nutrition and increased physical activity living in Jackson and Lafayette Counties.
El Centro, Inc. $118,000 To provide staff support, project materials and monies to develop a series of radionovelas for the Promotores de Salud Comprando Rico y Sano Program. These radionovelas will inform a significantly underserved population about SNAP benefits and healthy eating, along with using those benefits at the local farmers markets to purchase healthy, locally-grown fruits and vegetables for themselves and their families.
Greater Kansas City LINC Inc. $85,000 To continue the Foundation's current support of a multi-year program to improve the health of residents in the Historic East and Marlborough Neighborhoods through better nutrition. This is being accomplished by increasing access to nutritional foods in local food deserts, community education efforts and implementation of steps to address infrastructure barriers.
Hartwig Legacy Foundation d/b/a KC Healthy Kids $88,043 To provide staff support, evaluation and program materials to foster healthier eating through policy and practice change increasing the use of local food in schools and other institutions.
Harvesters — The Community Food Network $160,000 To support Harvesters' Healthy Eating Initiative, which increases access to healthy food through our network of pantries, empowers food-insecure families to make healthy food choices, and champions the voice of the hungry at the local, regional and national levels.
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council $70,236 To use toward staff support and program materials to build upon and help to coordinate the existing policy and advocacy approaches that foster an overarching interdisciplinary culture of wellness by enabling and encouraging residents to make conscious decisions about their current quality-of-health.
Jewish Vocational Service $60,000 To provide one, full-time staff member to coordinate the Global Gardens Project, as well as materials to carry out the project. This project works to identify and access vacant properties, develop them into garden sites, and connect refugees with gardens in their neighborhood, thus improving physical and mental health for refugee participants.
Kansas City Community Gardens, Inc. $198,400 To educate and empower Kansas City's communities to improve their food security by successfully harvesting fresh produce from community gardens and orchards.
Kansas City Good Food Hub $75,000 To continue, expand and provide outreach for the three established Good Food projects undertaken by Good Natured Family Farms. All three projects increase access to healthy local food by vulnerable populations. The three projects are Farm 2 School, The Good Natured Market in Ivanhoe, and the Workplace Wellness CSA.
KU Endowment Association $140,500 To support the work of KU School of Architecture, Design & Planning with community partners to create prototypes that will address specific, needed policy and environmental changes in the public spaces of the city and community. Through community engagement processes and prototypes, the community and city will be able to run Healthy Community Programs through already established community partners.
Lafayette County Health Department $45,000 To provide staff support for coalition building, and a social media campaign to achieve policy change in Lafayette County for clean air ordinances.
Niles Home for Children $70,000 To provide staff support and program support to increase access to healthy foods in underserved, urban core neighborhoods.
Palestine Senior Citizens Activity Center Inc $75,000 To implement staff support and project materials to integrate policy changes and the integration of a model fitness program for the senior population.
reStart, Inc. $175,446 To support "Healthy People, Healthy Communities" program activities designed to increase access to healthy food, increase safe places to be physically active and reduce exposure to tobacco among uninsured and underserved homeless individuals and families at reStart and in the surrounding urban core neighborhood.
Rosedale Development Association Inc $79,897 To expand and continue Rosedale Healthy Kids, a community-based project to improve equitable access to healthy food and opportunities for active living for all who live, work and play in Rosedale, a neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.
The Children's Mercy Hospital $120,218 To build on the current foundation and successful grassroots efforts established for the 12345 Fit-Tastic! Healthy Lifestyles Initiative.
Unified Government of Wyandotte, Public Health Department $51,095 To support the year one launch of the 20/20/20 campaign in Wyandotte County, with a goal to build 20 miles of bicycle lanes, 20 miles of recreational trails, and 20 miles of new sidewalk by the year 2020.
Upper Room, Inc. $120,000 To provide fitness and nutrition programming at the Mary L. Kelly Center, while significantly expanding advocacy capacity of the Upper Room, the Blue Hills Neighborhood Association, and the Town Fork Creek Neighborhood Association.

The Healthy Community grants are the first round of Foundation Defined Grants awarded by HCF in 2015. Mental Health grants will be announced in August, and Safety Net grants, in December. For more information on applying for HCF Foundation Defined Grants, visit hcfgkc.org.