Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

The goal of the NCRPA Wellness Initiative is to provide recreation and park agencies with resources to improve health programming, infrastructure, and policy efforts in your community. This wellness blog details an exciting new healthy eating grant, offered by NRPA.

Healthy eating support can be a difficult task for park and recreation agencies to undertake. Thankfully, the 2019 Increasing Access to Healthy Foods Innovation Grant opportunity from NRPA is working to make healthy eating efforts possible in your community.

NRPA, through a partnership with the Walmart Foundation, is offering grant funds to support healthy eating and food access through parks and recreation. 15 agencies will be awarded to build off of existing nutrition efforts, to participate in the USDA Child Nutrition programs, and to implement new strategies that improve access to healthy food in diverse communities.

Grantees will be expected to select one of the following nutrition strategies to bring to their community:

1. Starting or expanding farmers markets and/or community supported agriculture (CSA) programs at P&R sites to increase access to healthy, fresh, and local produce.

2. Starting or expanding inter-generational meal programs through the USDA nutrition programs that address the nutritional needs of vulnerable youth and seniors, in addition to fostering opportunities for nutrition education, mentorship, and social engagement for youth and seniors.

3. Addressing transportation and infrastructure barriers in communities (rural, suburban or urban) by piloting models that leverage existing resources and assets, building partnerships, and utilizing volunteers or innovative systems to transport kids to sites.

NRPA will fund five agencies in each of the three innovation strategies at $30,000-$35,000 each!

In order to be eligible for this opportunity, the following conditions must be met:

Applicants must:

  • Be a local government agency or an affiliated 501c(3) engaged with parks and recreation (e.g. municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, community services department, non-profit health coalition, etc.)

  • Serve meals/snacks through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and/or HHS Congregate Nutrition Services program for seniors in 2019 (if you are not sure if you participate in these programs please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document)

  • Have demonstrated experience implementing nutrition programming

​If your department is eligible, I hope that you will consider submitting an application! For more information and to apply, please visit this website.

Until next time,


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