Systemic racism has led to inequities that impact people of color and their health. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized this fact. African American and Hispanic communities are far more likely, for example, to get sick from and/or die from COVID-19 than their White counterparts and are far more likely to have underlying health conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.) that put them at higher risk for the disease. Though there are many other factors that ultimately influence a person’s health and health outcomes (e.g., jobs, economic stability, housing, transportation, etc.), there are still many policy options that can immediately improve health outcomes for people of color and the overall community as we continue to work on eliminating racism from all facets of life.
Most importantly, the nutrition and physical activity environment of Howard County needs improvement. Black and Hispanic teens, for example, are twice as likely to see ads for unhealthy food and drinks than their White counterparts and are more likely to live in food swamps (i.e., areas where fast food and other less healthy, highly processed, and cheap food options exist). They are also less likely to live in areas with safe and accessible options for routine walking and biking. As a result, children of color are far more likely to consume less healthy food and drinks and have an unhealthy weight than white children putting them at much higher risk for developing diabetes and other chronic diseases that kill most Howard Countians.
Request for Proposals
The Foundation seeks committed organizational partners to improve access to healthier food options in Howard County through policy systems change. Together, our advocacy will help to reduce diabetes and related health disparities, improve the nutritional environment of Howard County and create a healthier future for Howard County residents.
The purpose of this grant is to support the Healthier Choices Coalition working to create policy change that will 1) make fresh produce more available and affordable, 2) improve school meals, and 3) warn residents about the health risks of consuming sugary drinks. We recognize that advocating for policy change may be a new space for some. Active participation in the Healthier Choices Coalition paired with support from Horizon Foundation staff and Equity fellows will help you along the way.
Ten (10) selected grantees will be awarded $1,000 and will be expected to:
- Have an organizational representative attend the kick-off grantee meeting that will take place virtually on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 6 PM via Zoom.
- Have a representative from your organization attend monthly Healthier Choices Coalition Meeting and participate in Coalition subcommittee breakouts (e.g. – Research, Communications and Membership).
- Engage in at least three (3) advocacy actions (e.g. – complete and send out petitions to your networks, add your organization to a sign-on letter, complete and send out action alerts to your organization, members of our organization attend or testify at a hearing, etc.)
- Support Healthier Choices Coalition outreach and engagement efforts.
- Educate and recruit community members to support and participate in Coalition actions and events.
- Proposals will be accepted from organizations that aim to improve the health and wellness of those that live or work in Howard County, Maryland.
- Organizations must be: (a) tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)3, (b) be directly affiliated with a Howard County Public School that can receive funds on its behalf, or (c) have a fiscal sponsor that meets either option a or b.
- Organizations include but are not limited to PTAs, community groups, faith-based groups, student groups with adult oversight, etc.
- The grant period for grantees is from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.
How to Submit Proposals
The deadline to submit the application is October 27, 2022 at 11:59 PM (ET). Proposals will be reviewed and qualified applicants will be notified no later than November 18, 2022 .
All newly awarded grantees will be expected to attend an orientation meeting on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 6 PM via Zoom. More information to follow.
Interested in learning more? Attend our info session.
We will host an information session to explain the Request for Proposals and answer any questions you may have. Please participate in our upcoming virtual Zoom session:
- Wednesday, September 21st from 5:30 – 6:15; Zoom Link here. (Session will be recorded)
For questions on the grant opportunity, please contact Senior Policy and Community Engagement Officer Jennifer White at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule one-on-one time with Jennifer White by visiting this link: https://calendly.com/jwhite421.
For assistance with the grant system, please contact Senior Program Officer Kenitra Fokwa at email@example.com.