Ever see a child eating a bag of Cheetos and drinking a soda and wish you could do better for them? Ever wonder why the poor people are the ones who seem to be the most obese and the most unhealthily? It’s because hungry people eat what they can afford and when you are watching your money, fresh fruits, vegetables and organic are all just beyond your grasp.
Did you know that your zip code is a greater indicator of your health and longevity than your genetic code? Seriously, 23 million Americans live in low-income and rural neighborhoods more than a mile from the nearest supermarket, which means they have to eat what is near them geographically and affordable to them and that is not always what is good for them. Aetna is working to make sure that all children, all people, have access to healthy foods.
Poor nutrition poses a growing health challenge, particularly for those who have limited access to nutritious food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. To help address this challenge and in support of its mission of promoting health and wellness for everyone, the Aetna Foundation has launched an incredible program.
49 million Americans, including 15.8 million children live in food insecure households. According to the CDC 9 in 10 children don’t eat enough vegetables. These are numbers are sobering and sad.
I am thrilled to announce that Aetna Foundation seeks to fund the creation and expansion of innovative approaches to make community gardens, urban farms and farmers markets available to vulnerable communities in order to help all children get access to the healthier foods.
- To qualify for funding, programs must include one of the following:
- Nutrition education or cooking classes focused on the health benefits of fresh produce.
- Growth or distribution of produce that reflects the food traditions of the target area.
- Opportunities to learn job skills or entrepreneurship within the context of gardens, farms or farmers markets.
- Opportunities for community service or volunteer work with the project
Grants are open to new and expansion programs. All non-profit and community organizations with 501 (c)(3) status, and state and local government agencies are eligible to apply for the grant. Proposal deadline: May 6, 2015 at 5 p.m. ET to learn more visit www.aetnafoundation.org.
Aetna is trying to make fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. If you know of a non-profit or community organization in your areas that qualifies for this program, encourage them to apply for this grant and help save the children from being a victim of their zip code. Doesn’t every child deserve to be healthy?
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Aetna Foundation and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.