Programs that received matching grants in 2021 include: Ohio’s Columbus Recreation and Parks Foundation, to allow more youth with disabilities to get involved in organized adaptive sports; California’s Alameda Health Systems Foundation, to purchase additional produce bags for food insecure patients; Florida’s Sea Grant, to equip local marinas with bins for removing floating debris; Florida’s Orange County Public Schools, to educate students on how to recycle properly; and Hip Hop Public Health, a national organization supporting physical activity, to develop and disseminate a series of fitness videos for youth.
As part of our long-standing partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Foundation provides grants for mayoral initiatives that use innovative approaches to develop and support healthy and sustainable communities. In 2021, we expanded our successful grant program to include a new component on environmental health, launching the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Health and Sustainability Awards.
In its inaugural year, nine cities shared $745,000 in grants through the program. First place grant recipients included: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Ga., for “Cooking with C.H.O.I.C.E.S.” workshops to teach youth and their families how to prepare affordable, nutritious meals; Mayor Victoria Woodards of Tacoma, Wash., for multilingual “Recycle Reset Community Ambassadors” to educate residents on recycling and waste reduction; and Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minn., for “Grow Burnsville” to increase residents’ access to locally grown produce.