DALLAS, December 10, 2020 — Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association — the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to a world of longer, healthier lives — has awarded policy campaign grants to 16 nonprofit organizations nationwide for use in strategic issue advocacy campaigns focused on improving health equity with a focus on economic security, food security and healthy eating.

The grants range from $50,000 to $250,000 for up to 18 months. They represent the latest round of Voices for Healthy Kids grant funding, which aims to improve communities and the lives of children and families that experience systemic racism and oppression as underlying barriers to health.

“We must dismantle the structural racism that worsens the economic, social and health inequities of Black and brown people as well as people with low incomes,” said Donna Arnett, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., B.S.N., volunteer chair of Voices for Healthy Kids’ strategic advisory committee and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. “These grants are one piece of our commitment to solving deeply sown societal issues that keep entire populations from reaping the health benefits of economic security, food security and access to safe places to be active.”

Grantee Overview

  • 16 awards to organizations in 14 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
  • Support policy campaigns at the state, tribal and local levels to improve:
    • economic security, such as ensuring children and families have access to quality, affordable early care and education
    • food security and healthy eating by expanding state funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), increasing access to clean water and building community support for healthy kids’ meals and taxes on sugary drinks

“This year has underscored the critical importance of addressing racial inequities in health. These grantees are deeply rooted in their communities, and we are honored to support their crucial policy work that will have impact and benefit that will far outlast this funding opportunity,” said Lori Fresina, vice president and executive director of Voices for Healthy Kids at the American Heart Association. “Organizations like these are vital for improving health in their communities. The social impact of their work will be felt by children and families across their community.”

Voices for Healthy Kids, which receives financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other funders, works around the country to improve or create equitable policies that will make the places all kids, live, learn and play healthier. The initiative supports local, tribal and state policy change efforts that will dramatically improve the health of children who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Alaskan Native or families who have low income through grant opportunities, technical assistance and capacity building. Additional opportunities for funding will be made available each spring and fall at https://voicesforhealthykids.org/campaign-resources/grants.


About Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids is an initiative of the American Heart Association, working to make each day healthier for all children. Voices for Healthy Kids empowers advocates to take action in their communities and improve the health of children across the nation. Join us at  VoicesForHealthyKids.org, on Twitter @Voices4HK and Facebook.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org , Facebook , Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

Media Inquiries:  

Suzette Harris: 214-706-1207 Suzette.Harris@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) 

voicesforhealthykids.org, heart.org and strokeassociation.org