RWJF Awards Grants to Ten Organizations to Promote Healthy Communities

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced three-year grants of up to $250,000 to ten organizations as part of a new $15 million initiative to plan and implement community-based strategies that build and sustain healthy neighborhoods.

A component of the foundation's efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States, the Communities Creating Healthy Environments initiative will help community-based organizations engage local residents in the policy-making process while they work to develop effective interventions that address root causes of childhood obesity in their communities. Selected for their strong track record on social, economic, and environmental justice issues, the first CCHE grantees include Inner City Struggle in Los Angeles; Padres Unidos in Denver; Safe Streets, Strong Communities in New Orleans; WE ACT for Environmental Justice in New York City; and Freedom, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. Up to ten additional grantees will be announced later this year.

Recent research has demonstrated that when communities have access to fresh, affordable foods, residents eat more nutritiously, and when children have access to safe places to play, they are more active.

"CCHE builds on what we have learned from more than thirty years of community-based work," said CCHE project director Makani Themba-Nixon. "The answers are right in our own neighborhoods with our community leaders, with young organizers, and in our local organizations. The work on the ground is truly amazing. It was extremely difficult to choose only ten groups."

For a complete list of grantees, visit the RWJF Web site.