The University of Iowa College of Public Health and its Business Leadership Network announced six award recipients through the third year of the Community Grant Project. The organizations will receive cash grant awards of up to $3,000.
The recipients of the third round of funding are: Cass County Memorial Hospital, Atlantic; Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition, Fayette; Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison; Living Proof Exhibit, Davenport; Muscatine Center for Social Action, Muscatine; and Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo. (The projects are described in more detail below.)
The grant program funds, in conjunction with an equal cash or in-kind match from another organization or business, will be used for public health-related initiatives and projects in the recipient communities.
“We are excited to support these locally initiated projects to improve community health,” says Edith Parker, professor and head of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the UI College of Public Health. “The grant program is one way the college is partnering with communities and business leaders across the state to increase the well-being of Iowans.”
The College of Public Health provided the grants as part of its Business Leadership Network (BLN) initiative. Some of the funds for the grant program are provided by the UI Provost’s Office of Outreach and Engagement, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. The BLN, established in 2011, fosters ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships between the College of Public Health and small and medium-sized businesses and communities in Iowa. Through these relationships, the college engages and collaborates with communities in development of cutting-edge, high impact public health research, enhances educational programs with service learning opportunities within businesses, and promotes a culture of health throughout communities.
The third round of grant funding was available to nonprofit organizations and local government entities across Iowa. Learn more details about the grant program, as well as additional information about the Business Leadership Network.
Community Grant Award Projects
- Cass County Memorial Hospital, Atlantic
The Walk Cass County! project aims to expand and encourage walking as a way to connect families and friends while gaining health benefits. Through their Healthy Cass County division, they will work to provide walking maps with routes of varying lengths in each of the eight cities in the county to help residents become more active.
- Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition, Fayette
The Teen Maze: A Reality Check for Youth project is an experiential learning activity which provides youth in Fayette County the opportunity to see the consequences of their choices in a safe and guided learning environment. This project addresses substance use and mental health issues, healthy relationships, safety, and nutrition. Teen Maze aims to aid youth in understanding how today’s choices can affect their future goals.
- Lee County Health Department, Fort Madison
Lee County’s Community Garden and Senior Produce Box project will support the Live Healthy Lee County Coalition to develop and implement a community garden project. Produce grown from the garden will be donated to a senior community produce box project in rural areas where access to healthy foods is limited for older residents.
- Living Proof Exhibit, Davenport
The Using Art to Improve the Quality of Life of Quad Citizens Touched by Cancer project will offer 18 art sessions to people touched by cancer, with four bilingual programs offered in Muscatine and the remainder in Scott and Rock Island counties. Participants create something beautiful while having the opportunity to talk to and connect with others impacted by cancer. The sessions help participants fulfill a need for hope, support, or healing.
- Muscatine Center for Social Action, Muscatine
The Rapid Rehousing Food Stability Program introduces or reinforces and supports healthy nutritional behaviors and enables better food choices for families living in poverty. Participating families receive a healthy food delivery on the last week of their SNAP calendar month, a week they typically experience a food shortage. The food stability program provides each family with a crock pot, healthy snacks, food for one crock pot meal, and recipes made with affordable ingredients.
- Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo
The Senior Freezer Meal Prep and Cooking project aims to decrease meals that offer poor nutritional quality and help increase consumption of protein, vegetables, and high quality grains. Seniors in Allamakee, Black Hawk, Jackson, and Marshall Counties will be provided with a new slow cooker, education on food safety, and already prepared meal kits for storage in a freezer. Meal prep will be done in a group setting to create a social event and help combat loneliness and social isolation.