The Wellmark Foundation seeks
projects that are grounded in community and build on collaborations
to address underserved populations.
Descriptions of grant projects funded by the Foundation prior
to 2010 can be found in the Foundation annual
2013 Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) Grant Awards
Here are brief summaries of the challenge grants awarded in 2013 by The Wellmark Foundation board of directors.
Childhood Obesity Prevention-based Grant Awards
YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Area (Cedar Rapids, IA) $50,000 challenge grant award
Dissemination of the SWITCH Obesity Prevention Program in Iowa
Geographic Reach: Linn County, IA
Summary: The development and dissemination of evidence-based obesity prevention programs is a high priority for our country and our state. The SWITCH program, managed by the Community-Campus Partnership for Health at Iowa State University (www.iowaswitch.org), fills an unmet need in youth obesity prevention by positively influencing parenting behaviors and home environments shown to predict risk of obesity. The proposed project, builds on an existing partnership with the Cedar Rapids YMCA to build and evaluate a more comprehensive, web-based tool to facilitate the dissemination of the SWITCH program more broadly.
City of Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls, IA) $50,00 challenge grant award
Community Collaboration to Promote Safe Active Transport with School Age Children
Geographic Reach: Black Hawk County, IA
Summary: The goal of this initiative is to address one of the primary causes of the epidemic of childhood overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, through mobilization of a unique community partnership to complete the I-WALK assessment, implement and evaluate city-wide built environmental changes aimed at stimulating physical activity in the school age population. The project proposal is intended to assist with important decisions to help students be safe, successful and physically active by moving naturally.
Youth and Family Services (Rapid City, SD) $50,000 challenge grant award
YFS Healthy for Life Project
Geographic Reach: Pennington County, SD
Summary: The Healthy for Life project 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. Their 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.
Community-Based Wellness and Prevention-Based Grant Awards
City of Davenport (Davenport, IA) $45,000 challenge grant award
Quad Cities Food Hub Veggie Mobile
Geographic Reach: Scott County, IA
Summary: Building on the initial success of the Quad Cities Food Hub local foods grocery store at the Freight House, the community foods plan envisions greater community outreach through the purchase and utilization of a “Veggie Mobile,” a traveling fresh food vehicle. Such an operation would increase access of healthy, fresh, locally grown food to area residents of all economic backgrounds, expand markets for local farmers, as well as access for low-income individuals and families. In addition, education programming will be a critical component of the mobile operation as it stops in neighborhoods throughout the Quad Cities community.
Variety – the Children’s Charity (Des Moines, IA) $50,000 challenge grant award
Ashley Okland Star Playground
Geographic Reach: Polk, Warren Counties, IA
Summary: The proposed Ashley Okland Star Playground would be an all-inclusive playground created cooperatively with Des Moines Parks and Recreation. Located at Ewing Park on the southeast side of Des Moines, this playground will be constructed to children with special needs, as well as those not facing those challenges to offer a venue for integrated play, acceptance, and physical activity.
Prairie Rivers of Iowa (Ames, IA) $49,288 challenge grant award
Building a Regional Food System in Boone, Story and Hardin Counties
Geographic Reach: Boone, Story, Hardin Counties, IA
Summary: Our purpose is to advance nutrition immersion and locally sourced food solutions by developing gardens, which involves schools, businesses and institutions in three county areas. These gardens will serve as a rallying place to engage community members in taking responsibility for improving our citizen’s wellness, increase individual’s gardening knowledge that will empower them to make better food choices, which will assist us in building our local food system to help us create more sustainable communities.
City of Sioux Falls (Health Department) (Sioux Falls, SD) $30,000 challenge grant award
Live Well Sioux Falls – Bike the Town
Geographic Reach: Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties, SD
Summary: 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 federally-funding initiative). This project will focus on further advancing bicycling in our community, for both recreation and commuting. The key components include: 1) implementing a bike rack “cost share” program with area businesses and organizations; 2) increasing the number of racks to encourage bicycle trips; and 3) promoting safe bicycle commuting through the Live Well website and other public education/awareness efforts.
National Relief Charities (Rapid City, SD) $50,000 challenge grant award
Sustainable Food Systems in Porcupine
Geographic Reach: Shannon County, SD
Summary: To address the issue of food insecurity in Porcupine, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, National Relief Charities 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.