Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island accepting applications for 2018 community health grant program

(7.12.2017)
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PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is now accepting applications for its 2018 BlueAngel Community Health Grant (BACHG) program. This annual program grants funds to nonprofit organizations working to address critical health issues in Rhode Island and, in particular, the continuing challenge of childhood obesity. In the last full year of funding alone, BCBSRI’s support directly benefited more than 13,000 Rhode Islanders, including almost 10,000 children.

Since establishing a dedicated focus on addressing childhood obesity in 2014, the BACHG program has impacted nearly 46,000 Rhode Islanders. Grants are awarded to organizations seeking to improve the health and wellness of children through a variety of programs, offering nutrition education, physical activity, disease prevention and management, and the support of safe play environments.

“Our mission is to improve the quality of life of Rhode Islanders by improving their health. Healthy habits formed at a young age have a tremendous impact on health outcomes in adulthood, which is why funding for prevention is vitally important,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director of Community Relations at BCBSRI. “The BACHG program is the cornerstone of our community investment activities at Blue Cross, and we are proud of the community-based organizations we have worked with and the results achieved since we began collaborating with partners in this way more than 15 years ago.”

Past grant recipients include:
• Girls on the Run RI (GOTRRI). GOTRRI is a running-based youth development program offered at several school sites statewide for girls ages 8 to 13. Girls train for 10 weeks leading up to a 5K, as they learn about what it means to be healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. With their grant, GOTRRI expanded programming to more Title I schools in Rhode Island.
• Progreso Latino. Health in Sports/Salud en Deportes is an after-school sports program in Central Falls dedicated to making healthy exercise and diet central to the lives of children and their families through education around exercise, diet, and nutrition and parent workshops. The grant funded soccer and basketball, within their respective school leagues.
• Rhode Island Public Health Institute. The “Rhody Food on the Move” mobile food market addresses the lack of access to affordable, healthful food in underserved neighborhoods throughout the state, while helping to meet a growing demand for local food and a sustainable local food system. The mobile market brings fresh fruits and vegetables directly to community centers and spaces in these neighborhoods. The grant expanded the markets to additional schools and family housing sites and helped fund evening markets to reach working parents.

To be considered for a 2018 BACHG grant, organizations must:
• Work to increase access to safe places to be active.
• Assist youth-serving programs that increase children’s physical activity levels.
• Support local community-based organizations that provide education and outreach, regarding the importance of good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight for children and their families.

To qualify for a grant, an organization must have tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Applicants can access eligibility requirements, grant program information, frequently asked questions and the online letter of intent (LOI) form by visiting www.BCBSRI.com/about-us/community. Organizations must submit their LOI online submission by 4 p.m. on Friday, August 11. Favored applicants will focus on delivering innovative programs, prevention initiatives or collaborations with two-or-more agencies.

BCBSRI accepts and reviews proposals for the BACHG program once a year. Each LOI received is reviewed to determine compliance with eligibility and funding priorities. BCBSRI will notify the selected applicants and invite submission of a full proposal approximately 30 days before the deadline. Grant award recipients are notified in December with funding to begin in January 2018.

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