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KHF Board approves $18 million in COVID-19 response and to support data, equity and engagement efforts

April 22, 2021

Media Contact Ashley Booker, 316-491-8414

WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) Board of Directors recently approved $18 million in grant funding for a COVID-19 response effort to address food insecurity and to support data, equity and engagement efforts across the state.

The following awards were recently approved by the KHF Board:

COVID-19 Response ($250,000):

To help address food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board approved $250,000 to Kansas’ three major food banks: The Kansas Food Bank ($127,500), Harvesters Community Food Network ($112,500) and Second Harvest Community Food Bank ($10,000). These Kansas food banks will use KHF funds to make grants to their agency networks across the state. Decisions will be based on needs identified by these community food pantries related to storing and distributing healthy, perishable foods to respond to future food insecurity.

This commitment to addressing food insecurity comes after KHF awarded $2.9 million in emergency support in 2020 – including $1 million to the major food banks and $1 million to ensure Kansas children and their families had continual meal access over the summer months of 2020. Later in October, the Board provided an additional $900,000 to strengthen available food benefits and expand access to Federal Nutrition Programs in Kansas.

KHF has repurposed grant funds or provided additional support totaling more than $19.3 million for COVID-19 initiatives in 2020 and 2021.

Data, Equity and Engagement Support ($17.8 million)

$1,100,000 – Kansas Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative

This three-and-a-half-year initiative will support multi-sector community collaboratives to co-create and implement local digital equity and inclusion plans to promote greater digital access, adoption and literacy among families of color, low-wage worker households and other Kansans experiencing systemic barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the digital divide, especially in low-income communities of color, rural and other under-resourced areas of Kansas as health services and schooling became remote.

To help Kansas families attain the best possible educational, economic and health outcomes, high-speed digital access and literacy is necessary. This is also why this initiative will focus on a two-generation approach – so more Kansas children and adults have the opportunity for digital success in the future. Harder & Company Community Research will receive $95,000 to conduct the evaluation of this initiative.

Four grantees will be selected through a Requests for Proposals process that opens on April 28. Be watching KHF’s website and e-news for more details about when and how to apply.

$13,500,000 – Kansas Health Institute Core Support

KHF is continuing core funding support to Kansas Health Institute (KHI) for five years (January 2022 through 2026) to conduct research and analysis about the state of health, health-related policies and issues affecting Kansans, and provide education to policymakers.

KHI is a nonpartisan health policy and research organization founded by KHF in 1995 that is currently working to improve the health of all Kansans through nonpartisan research, education and engagement that supports effective policymaking. KHF has provided core operating funding of approximately $53 million to KHI since 1994.

$3,035,200 – Kansas Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) Initiative Phase II: Civic Engagement to Advance Health Equity and Evaluation

Phase II of the Kansas IVE initiative will engage originally funded organizations to continue expanding and enhancing their integrated voter engagement work. These efforts will help advance health equity through increased partnerships and programming among Kansans most impacted by inequities within their communities. This phase of the initiative will begin this August through December 2025.

Eleven organizations were initially funded in 2017 for a total of $2.47 million, and were tasked with integrating voter engagement into their existing health equity work. An additional $400,000 (total) was awarded in late 2020 in bridge funding between phase I and II of the initiative. 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. Phase II will build on this work.

Funded agencies include:

  • ACLU Foundation of Kansas
  • Climate + Energy Project
  • Destination Innovation (formerly The Seed House – La Casa de Semilla)
  • El Centro
  • Kansas Appleseed
  • Kansas Rural Center
  • Kearny County Hospital
  • Liberal Area Coalition for Families
  • Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity (MORE2)

REACH Healthcare Foundation and Health Forward Foundation also partner in the IVE initiative by funding two organizations in the Kansas City metro area (Missouri Jobs With Justice and The Voter Network Foundation, formerly Mainstream Education Foundation). Innovation Network will receive $256,000 to continue to evaluate this initiative.

$200,000 – FORESIGHT Continuation

To continue participating in FORESIGHT, KHF will provide a second grant of $200,000 for three years to Growth Philanthropy Network. FORESIGHT is a nationwide, collaborative effort to equitably envision and create a new future for health and well-being. This funding will be used to implement strategies with national and regional funders, and health and business stakeholders to impact health in ways that reduce barriers and create opportunities to improve health outcomes.

The first grant to FORESIGHT for $200,000 was in 2018.

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About the Kansas Health Foundation

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. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.

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