A behavioral health program to help child trauma victims. A food pharmacy program that provides prescriptions for healthy food. A cultural and linguistic educational curriculum to enhance medical provider-patient interactions. These are just a few programs in Florida that are sharing more than $11 million in grants from the Florida Blue Foundation to improve food security, mental well-being and health equity.
The Florida Blue Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, announced grants to 29 nonprofits supporting programs that address key drivers of health, many of which have been exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We cannot fulfill our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health without addressing the drivers of health that impact the well-being and quality of life for families and communities,” said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue. “These grants will strengthen our Florida communities and make a true difference for underserved children, families, seniors and students.”
This year’s competitive grant process sought proposals from Florida nonprofits addressing mental well-being for seniors and children and families, enhancing medical providers cultural and linguistic competency to improve health equity, and supporting community food banks and college food pantries.
Other examples of the types of programs that earned grants include a mobile pantry to deliver healthy nutritious meals to residents living in food deserts; in-home behavioral health services to help children and families in medically underserved areas; a culturally-tailored telehealth program to address loneliness and isolation in homebound Hispanic adults; and mental health first aid training for a variety of community resources.
“The need to help vulnerable populations has never been greater due to the COVID-19 pandemic deepening challenges for families and impacting funding sources for nonprofits trying to serve their clients,” said Susan Towler, executive director of the Florida Blue Foundation. “By supporting these nonprofits, we can ensure these community programs will continue to broaden and enhance their support to our Florida communities at a time when they need these services the most.”
Grants are spread out over a three- to four-year period and range from $200,000 to $400,000, allowing organizations and nonprofits time to develop initiatives as they continue working with their clients.
About Florida Blue Foundation
Florida Blue Foundation enables healthy communities by making grants, building coalitions and rewarding best practices. More than 3 million people in Florida have received direct health services as a result of grants made to nonprofit organizations since its founding in 2001.