The Wellmark Foundation has announced three recipients of its 2013 Matching Assets To Community Health (MATCH) grant program in South Dakota. The goal of this year’s MATCH grant program is to support communities implementing healthy eating and active living programs, along with environmental change initiatives for healthier communities in the two states supported by the Foundation - Iowa and South Dakota.
“We are excited to support these five community-focused projects in Iowa though our challenge grant program,” said Matt McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation. “This type of funding can be a powerful way to help our grantees collaborate and encourage new stakeholders and funding sources to advance health status improvement locally.”
Ninety-one applications were received for this year’s MATCH grant program, with eight (8) grants being awarded. The three selected to receive funding in South Dakota include:
- National Relief Charities (NRC), $26,300
Project: Sustainable Food Systems in Porcupine
The NRC’s project will address the issue of food insecurity in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. NRC and the community will create a local sustainable food system made up of a community/food garden, produce, and canning kitchen. The effort will bring fresh, nutritious food to an area where the closest grocery store is more than 30 miles away.
City of Sioux Falls Health Department, $30,000
This project will enhance the active transportation component of the Live Well Sioux Falls initiative, a community-wide effort to build a healthier Sioux Falls (Community Transformation Grant federal funding initiative). The project will focus on further advancing community bicycling, for both recreation and commuting, through implementing a bike rack “cost share” program with area businesses and organizations. The idea is to increase the number of bike racks to encourage bicycle trips and promoting safe bicycle commuting through the Live Well website and other public education/awareness efforts.
Project: Live Well Sioux Falls – Bike the Town
- Youth & Family Services, $50,000
Project: Youth & Family Services’ (YFS) Healthy for Life
The YFS Healthy for Life project in Rapid City will provide opportunities for children in poverty to access and develop a preference for healthy foods by incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into YFS’ daily menus. YFS will also adopt a nutrition education model to integrate into its direct service programs: prenatal to five Head Start, Girls, Inc., child care, and boys’ health, all in the Rapid City area. The YFS project will target approximately 1,700 children, of whom up to 80 percent live in poverty, 75 percent live in single parent or foster homes, 45 percent are a racial minority (primarily American Indian), and the majority have multiple risk factors for obesity.
McGarvey added that this year’s grantees have from August to December 2013 to use their funding as a challenge grant to match the funding award dollar for dollar to leverage new resources to advance the project plans. Selected grants in Iowa and South Dakota total $350,588 and collectively have the potential to leverage more than $1 million from other local funding sources.
To see the complete listing of 2013 MATCH grant program recipients and projects in Iowa and South Dakota, visit the Wellmark Foundation website.
About The Wellmark Foundation
The Wellmark Foundation is a private, non-profit foundation created by Wellmark, Inc., doing business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Please visit The Wellmark Foundation's Web site at www.wellmark.com/foundation to learn more about our grant program, as well as a list of previous grant recipients. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield and The Wellmark Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.