The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) Board of Directors recently approved $5.39 million in grant funding to address food insecurity, improve the well-being of Kansas children, and increase voter participation.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic, KHF immediately repurposed grant funds to respond to widespread health and social needs across Kansas. However, KHF also has existing, long-term grant initiatives that are critical to the health of children and families, and strengthening our communities and state,” said Matt Allen, chair of the KHF Board of Directors. “It is important to the Board to continue investing in these important, multi-year strategies aimed at changing health systems and policies in a way that improves the health of all Kansans.”
The following grant amounts were approved by the KHF Board of Directors:
$4.24 million for the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative (KHFI)
KHF is funding a second round of the loan/grant initiative for grocery improvements, farmers’ markets, food distribution or other innovative projects to support increased access to nutritious food. Eligible projects must primarily serve a low- to moderate-income community or neighborhood where there are no comparable fresh food markets.
KHF initially funded the KHFI with a $4.2 million grant in August 2017. Of this, $3 million was allocated to the loan/grant pool, with more than $1.6 million distributed through 17 projects across the state (as of March 31, 2020). Other project applications are in-progress for the remaining loan/grant funds.
This Phase II funding will also include an additional $3 million in grants/loans for August 2020 through December 2023. The funds will be administered by IFF ($2 million) and Network Kansas ($1 million, plus $200,000 for operational costs). Additional outreach, support, technical assistance and evaluation will continue to be provided by Kansas State University Center for Engagement and Community Development ($760,000) and The Food Trust ($240,000).
$750,000 Kansas Action for Children (KAC) Core Support
KHF is continuing core funding support for Kansas Action for Children (KAC) through June 2023 to continue efforts to advocate for policies and programs that benefit the health and well-being of Kansas children. This three-year, $250,000 grant is for general operating expenses so KAC may respond to emerging issues affecting children and families. KHF has provided core operating support to KAC since 2001, totaling nearly $6.5 million, to strengthen KAC’s work on maternal and child health, childcare licensing, and advocating to improve the lives of families and children in poverty.
$400,011 for Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE)
KHF is funding nine organizations to continue their IVE work through July 2021. These organizations were initially funded in 2017, each tasked with integrating voter engagement into their existing health equity work. Each organization has a specific focus and target population, but all are working to build stronger civic engagement through education; develop and diversify community leadership; increase public dialogue; create a well-informed grassroots citizenry to support public policies impacting communities; and to increase voter turnout.
Funded agencies include:
REACH Healthcare Foundation and Health Forward Foundation also partner in the IVE initiative by funding two organizations in the Kansas City metro area (MainStream Education Foundation and Missouri Jobs With Justice).
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, KHF focuses its work to address health equity in four impact areas: access to affordable health care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement and educational attainment. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.
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