Social impact funding spurs Chicago enterprises advancing food security, economic resilience

CHICAGO, March 5, 2024 – Last year, 1 in 5 Chicago Metro area households and 1 in 4 households with children were considered food insecure[1]. As a social determinant of health, food insecurity can lead to numerous health problems, such as heart disease or high blood pressure[2].

The American Heart Association, which is marking one hundred years of service saving lives, today announced the addition of the Grubhub Fund to the Association’s Social Impact Funds in Chicago. This infusion of funding, supported by the Grubhub Community Fund, will in turn enable local organizations to tackle systemic social issues that affect food security and economic development with a focus on technology-driven solutions. The Grubhub Community Fund’s support will allow for several funding opportunities to social enterprises and nonprofits implementing innovative and scalable solutions to create meaningful change in local neighborhoods across Chicago and also New York through 2025.

“We are committed to strengthening the communities for our diners, restaurant partners and delivery partners,” said Brianna Morris, senior manager, community impact for Grubhub. “We are excited to support the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds and elevate this work through the Grubhub Community Fund. Supporting organizations working to create meaningful change in local communities is a key part of our work, especially in our hometown of Chicago.”

Local Chicago organizations are invited to submit a formal expression of interest to the Association’s Social Impact Funds through April 25, 2024. A window for New York area organizations will open later this Spring. Applicants can be at any business stage and can be non-profit or for-profit social enterprises. A virtual “town hall” information session will be held on March 13, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Central. Community members and American Heart Association staff will unite to discuss the fund and application process to ensure available funds are focused to address the greatest local needs. Register here to join the discussion.

“Our mission to end cardiovascular disease is directly tied to addressing its root causes including social determinants of health,” said Brittany Walsh, region senior vice president and executive director for the American Heart Association in Chicago. “The Social Impact Funds provide critical funding helping empower local organizations to create scalable solutions that help provide access to health care, healthy food and other services to help overall resiliency that will ultimately lead to a healthier and more resilient community.”

The Oscar and Cathy Munoz Pave it Forward Foundation established the Association’s Social Impact Funds in Chicago in 2022. The Munoz’s gift along with support from the Tullman Family Office recently funded four Chicagoland organizations:

  • Care Advisors is a health care technology firm helping individuals gain rapid access to social services and vital healthcare by enabling interoperability and coordinating care amongst hospitals, community-based organizations clinical social workers and patients.
  • Connect Care Hero (CCH) addresses social isolation in older adults with a tech-enabled engagement platform for senior living that optimizes staff time, delivers curated health-focused content and monitors risks associated with age. CCH operates in more than 30 locations across Chicagoland and Southwest Florida.
  • DistrictZero (DZ) is a digital emotional health platform that aims to promote stronger social-emotional competencies, helping individuals manage their emotions and make responsible decisions. DZ has successfully piloted its platform across K-12 schools, bilingual classrooms, private health clinics and corporate mental health support workflows in the United States.
  • ProUnitas works with Title I schools to develop systems that address basic needs spanning the social determinants of health and connects students to the resources they might need. The Houston-based organization recently expanded into Chicago.

Since launching in 2018, the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds have supported more than 130 local social enterprises across the country. Learn more about the Association’s Social Impact Funds here.

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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 a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

For Media Inquiries:

Erin Kesler, 312-476-6641, or Jorie Goins, 312-476-6604,
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

[1] Greater Chicago Food Depository | Annual Report 2023

[2] Circulation | Vol 145 No 24

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