$25,000 Awarded to 11 Community Organizations to Improve Health

Healthy Central Florida is thrilled to announce the 2018 Health Innovation Grant recipients. Including these newly awarded grants, HCF has awarded more than $150,000 to community projects that improve health and well-being.

This year’s grant projects will benefit children, adults and seniors in Central Florida through programs that encourage healthy food access and consumption and physical activity. They all also have an element of social connections and fun.  We can’t wait to see Glenridge Middle School’s “Bike Buddies” program, where students will pedal “pedi-cab-like” bicycles, and give rides to students with disabilities – and to local seniors too.

A group of independent judges reviewed 18 applications and had the difficult job of narrowing the field to 11. (Normally we award 10 projects at $2500 each but one group did not request the full amount, so we were able to select an additional project .)

We know that these grant recipients will achieve great things and bring our vision of creating the healthiest community in the nation several steps closer to becoming reality.  In alphabetical order the new grantees are:

Central Florida Leased Housing Neighborhood Fresh Market – a community garden with education, workshops and on-site mini farmer’s market at The Meadows, a low-income housing complex on the border of Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park.
City of Winter Park Meatless Monday- takes a successful national campaign and encourages consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables while reducing consumption of carbon-intensive foods. The City-driven campaign leverages extensive partnerships.
Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida Community Garden and Programming – help those with Down Syndrome who are disproportionately afflicted with hypothyroidism, celiac disease and gluten sensitivities making them more susceptible to obesity and diabetes. This program engages the whole family.
Education Pathway Peer to Peer OASIS Healthy Habits Program – Seniors teaching seniors and leading them in nutrition education and healthy, activities
Lake Weston Elementary School Walking Mustangs and Outdoor Education Classroom which gets children, walking, moving and spending time outdoors in nature to enhance learning and physical activity.
Mead Botanical Garden Nature Rocks – Outdoor classroom and activities for all ages that connect people to nature and promote learning and physical activity.
Glenridge Middle Bike Buddies – bringing the joy of biking to those young and old and those with disabilities, through a creative bike program
Studio 150 – First United Methodist Church Summer Dance Camp – serving lower income children with healthy movement through summer dance camps combined with healthy lunch and nutrition education program
UCF College of Nursing Virtual Reality Grocery Tour – use technology to teach parents of young children about shopping for healthy foods/where to find them in grocery stores; will also incorporate other aspects of nutrition, including healthy portion sizes
Welbourne Avenue Nursery and Kindergarden Inc. Gardening Program – Promote healthy food access by using hydroponic and traditional gardening for lower income children and their families; encourage intergenerational interaction and share food surplus with local food bank
Winter Park Public Library Seed n’ Feed Library Lending and Education – Use a model successful elsewhere and bring to Central Florida to teach residents to grow their own food. Use education, workshops, seed “lending”’ (give away) and share the harvest with local foodbank.

Congratulations to all our new grantees – and thanks to all who attended the workshop and applied for the grants. It was a difficult decision with many more qualified applications than funding available. We encourage any group not selected to stay in touch and to consider applying again next year.