DALLAS, May 20, 2024 — The American Heart Association, which is marking 100 years of service saving lives, and its Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund received a $900,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. The Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund is an Association Social Impact Fund supporting local community organizations working to break down socioeconomic barriers to health in under-resourced communities.

This recent infusion of funding will support companies and organizations that combat food insecurity in targeted local communities. The Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund provides essential financial capital to these enterprises that, in many cases, struggle to source private venture capital or alternative sources of funding that allows them to accelerate their growth and scale their impact. Previous financial support from the Walmart Foundation has already enabled more than 20 social benefit organizations across Atlanta and Chicago to improve local food ecosystems.

“The Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity is dedicated to strengthening communities by addressing food insecurity to deliver health equity for all,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president and COO, Walmart Foundation. “We are proud to extend our support of the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund to help community-based entrepreneurs build sustainable programs that expand access to affordable and healthy food.”

Recipients of funding from the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund include both non-profit organizations and for-profit companies working to positively impact the risk factors that affect cardiovascular health in historically excluded communities. Access to healthy food is a key factor in maintaining heart health since only 10% of adults in the U.S. consume the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake to support a healthy lifestyle[1]. Through the Walmart Foundation’s contributions, the Fund specifically supports social enterprises offering solutions that address food security especially among mothers, infants and those with diabetes.

“Many social impact entrepreneurs lack the resources and funding they need to grow successfully,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer for the American Heart Association. “With help from generous supporters like the Walmart Foundation, the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund supports organizations that have a deep understanding of and commitment to the people within the communities in which they work and a track record of sustainability so they can make a difference for the long term.”

Since 2018, the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds, including the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, have provided financial support to more than 130 for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises addressing key social drivers of health across the country. The Social Impact Funds invest in organizations improving health equity by addressing such issues as access to quality health care, food insecurity and economic empowerment, all factors that can deeply impact cardiovascular health.

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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.orgFacebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

About the American Heart Association Social Impact Funds
The American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds, including the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, channel capital to small and medium-sized organizations that know their community best and whose ideas accelerate innovation to address local community and national health challenges. With a focus on improving health equity and expanding access to capital, the Funds support accessible, high quality health care, food security and economic empowerment. Since launching in 2018, the Funds have provided $21.5 million in financial support to more than 130 local enterprises to positively impact the well-being of nearly 5 million people. Learn more about our work at heart.org/socialimpactfund.

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Rebecca Torres-Fisher, rebecca.torres@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org

[1] Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations (Jan. 2022)