The Aetna Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $3 million to nonprofit organizations in twenty-two states to encourage healthy food choices and active living in underserved communities.
Awarded as part of the foundation's GoLocal: Cultivating Healthy Communities initiative, which includes the Local Roots grant program and the Healthy Eating and Active Living program, grants will support organizations working to create and/or expand community gardens, urban farms, and farmers' markets, as well as those focused on improving nutrition and promoting physical activity in underserved communities. Grant recipients include CommunityGrows in San Francisco; Groundwork Denver, Inc.; Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County in Florida; and Covenant House New Jersey, Inc.
"Poor nutrition and low activity levels can be especially challenging in underserved communities, but local programs like those the Aetna Foundation supports can have a big impact on community health," said Aetna Foundation president Garth Graham. "At the Aetna Foundation, we know that place matters. Where you live can have a profound impact on your health. We're excited to support programs that reach people where they are with specific ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise — reaching people in their neighborhoods leads to sustainable change that will be key to improving health outcomes nationwide."