Food Bank Council of Michigan nutrition program improves access to healthy food statewide

DETROIT, Mich. – The Food Bank Council of Michigan is celebrating a successful first year of its Michigan Food Bank Access to Nutrition (MIFBAN) program, a significant first step in its efforts to make Michigan a food-secure state by increasing access to food in all 83 counties.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan received a $5 million grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in 2014 to support the initiative for two years, through October 2016. That crucial funding helped to establish the MIFBAN program’s goal to improve access, and encourage low-income residents in Michigan to eat healthier. The program is focused on seniors and children. MIFBAN collaborates with local food banks to coordinate the purchase of fresh produce that is then distributed to 129 mobile sites (surpassing the original goal of 66), including direct service to schools, senior centers and other areas that suffer from high rates of food insecurity, being without reliable access to a sufficient amount of food.

“We are very proud of the number of people we have been able to reach in the first year of the MIFBAN program,” said Phillip Knight, executive director of Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Improving the quality of health in Michigan begins with the food we eat. MIFBAN’s mobile sites successfully span across 655 zip codes in Michigan and distribute locally grown produce.”

Since the implementation of the program, MIFBAN has also provided nutrition education to more than 10,600 people monthly. In addition, more than 3,400 seniors and more than 4,400 youth have received nutrition education each month. Another aspect of the program is providing cooking demonstrations, taste tests and recipe cards to help people make the connection between nutrition, the preparation of nutritious meals and the benefits of practicing healthy eating habits.

“We are proud to support The Food Bank Council of Michigan and the positive impact they are having on the health of Michigan’s seniors and children,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “The MIFBAN is increasing access to healthier food and reducing the risk of chronic disease for thousands of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund in 2014 with an additional $8.5 million awarded in December to 29 Michigan community health foundations.

Additional information can be found at the Food Bank Council of Michigan website at fbcmich.org.

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About the Food Bank Council of Michigan

The Food Bank Council of Michigan’s mission is to create a food secure state through advocacy, resource management, and collaboration among stakeholders and Michigan’s unified food bank network. FBCM works with its seven regional food banks and more than 3,000 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials and other allies to make sure Michigan residents don’t go hungry. For more information, visit fbcmich.org or call 517-485-1202.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Awards More Than $8.5 Million to Support the Health and Wellness of Seniors and Children

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund today awarded more than $8.5 million to 29 community foundations across the state, making it the Fund’s second largest distribution of funds to improve the quality of health for Michigan’s children and seniors.

More than 30 community foundations across the state applied for funding through the Fund’s fall 2015 grant application process. Grant requests focused on areas such as: prenatal care and infant mortality; health services to support adopted and fostered children; healthy food access; wellness and fitness programs; access to mental health services; technology enhancements; health-related transportation needs; access to care/integrated care; and teen pregnancy prevention.

The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan was granted $2.5 million to mitigate food insecurity through their Healthy Food Connect initiative, which includes partnerships with Fair Food Network and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. The goal is to increase access to healthy food, improve the quantity of food purchased/consumed, and ensure children and seniors receive healthy food education/training.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation was awarded $829,500 to provide access to mental health care for youth, and especially at-risk youth through a partnership with the Kent School Services Network. The program will focus on access to mental health services, technology enhancements and health services for runaway and homeless youth, foster and adopted children living in poverty and other at-risk youth. Other awards ranged from $25K to $315K. (A complete list of grant recipients is listed following this release.)

“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and senior residents as a result of its first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, MHEF board chairman. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations as they continue focusing their work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”

Community foundations were eligible to apply for grants in support of programs to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations receiving funding, in turn, now have the ability to offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support similar programs.

“We are excited to collaborate this year with community foundations on projects that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Community-based, non-profit organizations also were invited to apply directly to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund under a separate grant program for up to $2 million in grants to support programs related to children and seniors. An announcement related to those requests is expected in March of 2016.

The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year.

Additional information can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website at mhealthfund.com.

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2015/2016 Grant Recipients

  • Allegan County Community Foundation
  • Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation
  • Barry Community Foundation
  • Battle Creek Community Foundation
  • Bay Area Community Foundation
  • Berrien Community Foundation
  • Charlevoix County Community Foundation
  • Dickinson Area Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Greater Flint
  • Fremont Area Community Foundation
  • Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Grand Traverse Community Foundation
  • Huron County Community Foundation
  • Jackson Community Foundation
  • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
  • Lapeer County Community Foundation
  • Lenawee Community Foundation
  • M&M Area Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Marquette County
  • Midland Area Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Monroe County
  • Pleasant Area Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Muskegon County
  • Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan
  • Roscommon County Community Foundation
  • Saginaw Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula

OC115: Boys & Girls Club BeFit Program Encourages Kids to be Healthy & Active

Last year over 150 kids from about age 7 to 18 trained twice a week for two months and successfully did at least a 5K run. These are kids who might not otherwise have had access to opportunities to structured healthy activities.  This is why the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties started the BeFit Program.

The program was showcased on Sunday with a BeFit Festival, packed with fun opportunities for kids and adults to get moving, meet other people and test out Boys and Girls Club opportunities.

 

Read More Here.

Program takes fun path to healthy activities in Redford

A Path to a Healthier Michigan – Come out and Play program designed to increase health and physical activity has come to Redford Township.

“We received a grant this past summer to increase health and physical activity,” Redford Department of Parks and Recreation Director Theresa Burgess said. “It is a partnership with the Michigan Recreation and Park Association designed to encourage citizens to utilize community parks and recreation amenities to be physically active.”

Read the full article at Hometown Life.

Macomb Daily: Program helps children who experienced trauma

Laurel and Steve Smith adopted two Russian children when the children were very young. While the youths have progressed in their decade here, some of the effects of the trauma they endured hasn’t been erased.

That’s why the Smiths, who reside in Warren, took advantage of a new Easter Seals Michigan program that steers services to children who have experienced any type of trauma — whether it’s witnessing or being involved in a violent assault or more subtle, ongoing events such as lack of basic care.

Read more on the Macomb Daily’s website by clicking here.

2015 Local Impact Grants Program Application List Announcement

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF) focused a portion of its 2015 grant making efforts on helping local organizations improve the health of their communities through the Local Impact Grants program. Through these grants, local nonprofits are able to continue improving the health of children and senior residents in their communities.

MHEF Board of Directors vetted letters of inquiry and recently announced invitations to submit a formal application. The MHEF will be awarding 20 to 30 grants with an average grant size of $75,000. Most of the grants awarded, which will be announced in March 2016, will be for a one-year period, but in some cases a two-year period. For those two-year selected grants, the amount provided would be used over two years.

Congratulations to the following organizations who were selected to apply for this year’s grants:

  • Adoption Option Inc.
  • Allen Neighborhood Center
  • Bay County Health Department
  • Bridging Communities, Inc.
  • Cadillac YMCA
  • Cancer Services of Midland County
  • Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation
  • Charlevoix Area Hospital Foundation
  • Child and Family Services of Northeast Michigan
  • Danielle Karmanos’ Work It Out
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
  • Detroit Food Policy Council
  • District Health Department No. 10
  • Eden Manor
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
  • Family Futures
  • First Steps Kent
  • Greater Flint Health Coalition
  • Growth Works, Inc.
  • Kalamazoo county Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Keep Growing Detroit
  • Lebanese American Heritage Club
  • Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly
  • Metro Solutions
  • RSVP of Ingham, Eaton & Clinton County
  • Saginaw Area Foundation for Eye Care
  • Patrick Senior Center
  • Superior Alliance for Independent Living
  • Van Buren Intermediate School District
  • The Village of Hillside and Perry Farm Village

This year’s grant application process is now closed. Please visit our website for future grant opportunities. Additional information on the most recent Local Impact Grants process is included here.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund announces its 2015 grant programs to support children and seniors statewide

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund will be accepting applications for up to $10 million in grants to improve the quality of health for Michigan’s children and seniors.

Up to $8 million of the new grant dollars – approved by the Fund’s board of directors on July 23, 2015 – will be available for application by Michigan community foundations that meet national standards criteria. An additional $2 million will be available to other community organizations throughout the state.

“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board has been proud to support a variety of very successful programs this past year aimed at improving the health of Michigan’s children and senior residents,” said Rob Fowler, board chairman. “We look forward to building strong relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations that are working to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”

Community foundations can apply for grants to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations, in turn, could offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support programs with the same goal. Applications are due in October.

Community-based, non-profit organizations may apply directly to the Fund for grants to support programs related to children and seniors. Organizations making a direct application must be a 501(c)3 public charity, have an annual operating budget of less than $1.5 million and a current, certified financial audit. Local units of government are also encouraged to apply.

The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year.

“In year one, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund awarded 10 large grants to statewide organizations to support projects related to fitness programs for youth, fall reduction for seniors, access to healthy food, mental health screenings and health education,” said Paul Hillegonds, Michigan Health Endowment Fund chief executive officer. “We are excited to collaborate this year with smaller organizations that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities.”

All grant monies will be awarded based on criteria established by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund board. Applicants are encouraged to show a direct relationship to one or more of eight key focus areas: infant mortality; health services for foster and adopted children; wellness and fitness programs; access to healthy food; mental health services; technology enhancements; health-related transportation needs; and foodborne illness prevention. Projects can be for pilot projects or ongoing programs, but the grants are not intended to replace lost government funding.

Additional information regarding grant eligibility can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website at mhealthfund.com or via email at info@mhealthfund.com.

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About Michigan Health Endowment Fund:
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund was established to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The Fund was created through the passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) operates in the state.

Michigan Health Endowment Fund Awards $20.95 million to support the health and wellness of seniors and children

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Health Endowment Fund today announced the award of $20.95 million to six organizations, completing its 2014 pilot funding program. The Michigan Primary Care Association, the Michigan Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, the Michigan Association of United Ways, the Michigan State Alliance of YMCAs, the Michigan Association for Local Public Health and the Michigan Fitness Foundation were approved for funding.

“We have been proud to support these programs that will play an important role in the health of Michigan children and seniors citizens,” said Rob Fowler, Chairman of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “The board was committed to providing funding in its first year of operation and we are extremely pleased with the success of the 2014 pilot funding program.”

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded a total of $38.15 million in grant awards in its first year of operation. The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The Fund was created through the passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) operates in the state. The law requires BCBSM to contribute up to $1.56 billion over 18 years to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

  • The Michigan Primary Care Association was awarded $5 million for the Linking Clinical Care with Community Supports (LC3S) Project, to hire, train and integrate care liaison workers into primary care teams in health centers throughout This project will work directly with patients to provide support, information and assistance with needs such as food, housing, social services and counseling and will work with patients to monitor their health and increase accountability through individualized patient plans.
  • The Michigan Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs was awarded $5 million to fund the new “Great Health Starts Here” program designed to reduce obesity and the risk for diabetes for Boys and Girls Clubs members 6-18 years of The project will focus on physical activity, smart food choices and regular health care screenings. Part of the project involves a partnership between the Alliance and Henry Ford Hospital to provide mobile medical screenings to youths at Boys and Girls Club locations statewide.
  • The Michigan Association of United Ways was awarded $5 million for the support of the expansion and integration of the Children’s Healthcare Access Program (CHAP) and the Michigan 2-1-1 service. CHAP is a collaborative, community-based program for children who are enrolled in Medicaid and is designed to reduce barriers to accessing healthcare at the family, health care provider and health system This funding will allow for the expansion of the CHAP model in Kent and Wayne counties and implementation in Genesee, Macomb, Ingham, Kalamazoo and Saginaw counties as well as northwest Michigan.
  • The State Alliance of Michigan YMCAs was awarded $3.3 million to improve health outcomes in Michigan youth and support chronic disease prevention programs for The program includes the Healthy Out of School Time Initiative to introduce and reinforce health habits for youth in vulnerable communities through before and after school programming. The Alliance will also increase the outreach of their Michigan Swims program to focus on water safety and emergency response and will partner with other organizations working to assist senior citizens.
  • Michigan Association for Local Public Health was awarded $1.9 million to improve the population health of Michigan children and seniors by developing a framework for achieving and sustaining high rates of The program will work to increase the number of children 0-18 years of age who are up to date on their vaccination schedule and to increase the number of seniors protected against influenza and pneumonia.
  • The Michigan Fitness Foundation will receive $750,000 to pilot the Act4Health Program for Seniors in two communities. Through Act4Health, healthcare and service providers will be equipped to connect older adult patients with an online community to receive virtual health education and to learn about community resources to help them access healthy food, nutrition and physical activity in their They will partner with Copper County Mental Health in the Upper Peninsula and the South Haven Health System.

While the Michigan Health Endowment Fund continues to organize its operation, including the hiring of a permanent Chief Executive Officer and developing a comprehensive grantmaking strategy, the Board felt it important to make this 2014 pilot funding available to organizations working in health that have the ability to distribute funding to local affiliates.

Members of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund are Lynn Alexander, Tim Damschroder, Cindy Estrada, Rob Fowler, Sue Jandernoa, Jim Murray, Keith Pretty, Marge Robinson, and Michael Williams.