The Wichita-based has announced the names of the nonprofit organizations selected to participate in its Statewide Partnerships for a Healthier Kansas Initiative.
Each organization initially will receive up to $150,000 to engage local communities, coalitions, organizations, media, business leaders, and policy makers to help create a healthier food and beverage environment in the state. The five organizations — the , Kansas Action for Children, the Kansas Hospital Education and Research Foundation/Kansas Hospital Association, the Kansas Rural Center, and KC Healthy Kids — will then be eligible to receive up to $150,000 in each of the next two years, for total funding of up to $450,000 each.
The initiative's primary goals are to promote policy and systems interventions that have a statewide impact on increasing the consumption of healthy foods and water, reducing overconsumption of sugary drinks, and supporting health-promoting food and beverage retailing and distribution policies.
Kansas Rural Center executive director Julie Mettenburg told the that her organization would work to convene stakeholders at every point of the food production chain — including farmers, distributors, food retailers, and families — to craft a statewide plan aimed at encouraging the consumption of local produce. "The Farm-to-Fork Food Plan will identify the state of affairs with each link in the food [production] chain and then identify the public policy supports that are needed to advance them," Mettenburg said.
"This initiative will provide the foundation with the opportunity to work closely with these five outstanding organizations on efforts that will have a significant and long-term impact on the health of Kansans," said KHF president and CEO Steve Coen. "We all make a number of choices every day regarding what we eat and drink, and we believe these organizations, with this funding, can work effectively to increase the availability of healthy options."