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2019 Increasing Access to Healthy Foods Innovation Cohort Application


The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds from the Walmart Foundation to support healthy eating and food access through parks and recreation. NRPA will be funding 15 grantees to build off of existing nutrition efforts, including participation in the USDA child nutrition programs, and implement new, innovative strategies that improve access to healthy foods in diverse communities. Grantees in 2019 will select one of three innovation strategies to implement in 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. P&R agencies are uniquely positioned to utilize their existing strengths and assets (facilities, personnel, amenities, programming, social opportunities, inclusive policies, etc.) to expand local agriculture interventions and provide additional avenues that build a healthy food system. Grantees will be encouraged to start new markets or expand existing markets and CSA programs, work towards accepting SNAP/WIC at market locations, and offer nutrition education at market sites.

2. Starting or expanding intergenerational meal programs through the USDA CACFP and HHS congregate nutrition programs that address the nutritional needs of vulnerable youth and seniors, and foster 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. Models may include formal partnerships with schools/transportation departments/senior transportation services to utilize buses or piloting carpool models.

NRPA plans to fund 5 agencies in each innovation strategy at $30,000-$35,000 each. Applicants may apply for more than one strategy, but applicants should ensure that each strategy is a priority for their community.

Applicants should demonstrate a strong foundation of nutrition programming, including experience with implementing 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. Applicants must also show demonstrated experience administering nutrition education to youth and families.

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 SFSP and/or the CACFP or NSLP 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
  • Past Healthy Out-of-School Time grantees are eligible and encouraged to apply for funding

Applicants not meeting the above requirements are not eligible for this grant.

Availability of Funding
One-year grants ranging from $30,000 - $35,000 are available for each grantee. Should your agency be awarded grant funding in more than one category, you will receive $30,000-$35,000 for each category. Matching funds are not required.

Use of Funds
Grant funds will be designated for expenditures that help local park and recreation agencies successfully implement one of the innovation strategies in their community: starting or expanding farmers markets/CSA programs, starting or expanding intergenerational meal programs, or addressing transportation barriers.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Marketing and promotions within the local community
  • Supplies (tables and chairs, nutrition education supplies, for example)
  • Food service or transportation equipment (heating or refrigeration units, vehicles, for example)
  • Staffing to support program implementation
  • SNAP/WIC EBT machines to accept supplemental nutrition programs
  • Other basic needs to create or expand access to healthy foods
​​​*Funding cannot be used to purchase food for meal programs.  However, grant funds can be used to purchase items needed for nutrition education implementation (some activities may require small amounts of food and ingredients). 

Additionally, NRPA will provide an evidence-based, nutrition literacy and community and home gardening curriculum for all agencies to use and implement.  

Webinar to Learn More
NPRA will be hosting a webinar to go over the goals of the grant and frequently asked questions during the RFA period.  You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions. To register for the webinar on Tuesday, February 12 at 2pm ET click here.

Application Due Date
Applications are due by 11:59PM ET on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. It is anticipated that NRPA will notify applicants by March 20, 2019.

Saving your Application
Please ensure responses are recorded accurately. You can save your progress and continue at a later time by clicking the "Save and continue later" link at the top of the page. Note: Only completed pages are saved - please enter a draft answer for each question on the page if you plan to save and return to your work later. The application is available in PDF format to assist in preparation of responses, but the application MUST be submitted through this online form. For a Word document copy
please click HERE.

Please refer to our
Frequently Asked Questions document for additional information.
Please contact with any questions that are not addressed in the FAQ document.

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