Harvard Pilgrim Health care foundation distributes $2.3M in grants

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has announced that it awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to more than 900 nonprofit organizations in more than 300 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 2017.

Since its inception in 1980, the foundation has granted more than $145 million in funds throughout the four states.

The foundation helps build healthy communities by supporting programs that provide access to fresh, healthy food; improve the health of communities impacted by health disparities; and support Harvard Pilgrim employees as they invest their time and talents across the region.

In 2017, more than $1.57 million in grants was distributed to its Healthy Food Fund initiatives within the region, with funds supporting programs that grow, distribute and/or market fresh food for families and communities across the region.

Healthy Food Fund grants included:

– $969,748 in third-year grants to 20 not-for-profit community food initiatives in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

– $190,905 in the second round of Healthy Aging grants to 23 not-for-profit initiatives in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. The funded programs helped older adults eat better and stay connected to their communities through community garden, cooking and nutrition programs.

– $260,250 to support five mobile farmers’ markets in Worcester and Lowell, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Lewiston/Auburn, Maine and the seacoast of New Hampshire.

“Over the first two years of the Healthy Food Fund, our independent evaluation shows the amount of local produce distributed to low income families across the region has increased significantly,” said Karen Voci, President of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “We are thrilled to see that our small investments in very local organizations can measurably improve access to healthy food.”

In addition to the $1.57 million in Healthy Food and Healthy Aging grants, the foundation also awarded $593,250 to 775 organizations in 213 communities through Harvard Pilgrim’s employee-

directed Community Spirit 9/11 Mini-Grant program.

This program enables each Harvard Pilgrim Health Care employee to annually award a $500 grant, completely funded by the foundation, to the charity of his or her choice. Since the inception of this community grant program in 2002, the foundation has contributed more than $5.7 million to thousands of organizations in the region. Areas of support have included schools, food pantries, youth development organizations and fundraising events.

In 2017, $39,550 was awarded to nonprofit partner organizations including Hands on Hartford, City Year, as well as Cradles to Crayons, which supports Harvard Pilgrim’s employee service in local communities. Harvard Pilgrim employee contributions, made through the company’s annual employee fund raising campaign, along with foundation support, totaled $45,000 and were distributed to United Ways of New England and local nonprofits chosen by employees. The foundation and employees also contributed to various disaster relief efforts including: $14,500 to Hurricane Harvey, $9,400 to Puerto Rico Fund and $8,200 to Hurricane Irma.

Through the foundation’s Health Equity Roundtable program, an $8,000 grant was awarded to PFLAG Hartford to support a community discussion aimed at addressing transgender health care issues in Connecticut.

2017 major grant recipients in NH:

(2017 New Hampshire Grant Recipients: Total award $298,993)

– $80,000: Seacoast Eat Local (Dover), Mobile Farmers’ Market

– $50,000: Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Inc. (Laconia), Pop-up Farmers Market; cooking demonstrations and community gardens

– $42,388: Healthy Aging Grants (statewide), community gardens and cooking and nutrition classes for older adults

– $39,330: Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (Berlin), Farmers’ Market Grow Healthy Initiative; Outdoor Teaching Kitchen

– $30,000: New Hampshire Food Bank (Manchester), North Country Fresh Food Project

– $28,175: Tamworth Community Nurse Association, Tamworth Farmers Market SNAP expansion

– $15,000: NH Center for Nonprofits (Concord), Nonprofit Impact Awards