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Jacksonville, Fla - April 27, 2021

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.

Below are the organizations that were awarded grants:

  • Shands Jacksonville Medical Center Inc. – Food Pharmacy and Demonstration Kitchen
  • Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida Inc. - Neighbors Helping Neighbors Across Northwest Florida
  • Bethune-Cookman University - Increasing Food Security in a Designated Food Desert in Coastal East Central Florida
  • Feeding Northeast Florida – Mobile Markets Program
  • Polk State College Foundation Inc. - Healthy Eagles Soar
  • Broward College Foundation Inc. - Seahawk Marketplace and Services
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville Foundation Inc. - H.O.P.E. College Campus Food Pantry Initiative
  • New Hope Education and Addiction Services – River Oak Center Food Pantry and Culinary Arts Program (North Florida)
  • Heartland for Children Inc. – Improving the Well-Being and Resiliency in Children and Families through trauma Informed Care and Trauma Informed Response (Central and West Florida)
  • Center for Health Equity – Expansion of the CHE Bio-psychosocial Team (Northwest Florida)
  • Nassau County Mental Health Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Council, Inc. - Talkable Communities
  • Center for Child Counseling – Childcare and Community Social-Emotional Wellness (South Florida)
  • Boys and Girls Club of Martin County - Can Changing a Culture of Care Change a Community?
  • NAMI Miami-Dade County Inc. - Peer Power: A Holistic Approach to Mental Health Awareness, Education and Support
  • Jessie Trice Community Health System – JTCHS Children and Families Thriving Project (South Florida)
  • AMIKIDS Inc - AMIkids Youth Mental Health First Aid Initiative (West, North, South and Central Florida)
  • Centerstone of Florida Inc. - Expanding Centerstone’s children’s behavioral health services to support families in crisis (West Florida)
  • Collier Health Services Inc. (Healthcare Network of SWFL) - Promoting Child & Adolescent Well-being Through Early Identification and Intervention in Primary, Team-based Care
  • Pasco Kids First - Trauma Therapy for Children in Hernando County
  • Tampa Family Health Centers Inc - Patient Centered Behavioral Health Services
  • Seniors First Inc. - Counseling and Social Connection for Lonely Seniors (Central Florida)
  • ElderSource (Northeast Florida Area Agency on Aging) - TCARE- A Person Centered Approach to Mental Well-Being
  • AIDS Service Association of Pinellas - EPIC Generations Friendly Caller: Supporting the Mental Well-Being of Older LGBTQ+ Adults
  • MHP SALUD - Health Outcome - Life Stages (West and Central Florida)
  • Indian River County - Board of County Commissioners - Park-Based Activities to Decrease Loneliness in Vulnerable Seniors
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc. - Health Equity Train-the-Trainer Program
  • Orlando Health Inc.- Health Equity Train-the-Trainer Program
  • United Way of Broward County Inc.- Health Equity Train-the-Trainer Program

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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.