Through its Center for Prevention, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota plans to award $25,000 to up to 15 organizations that can execute a “shovel-ready” project that uses engagement as a key strategy. More details will be available after October 7 on the Grassroots Solutions’ website.
A strong emphasis is being placed on funding organizations that fall outside of the traditional public health realm, and with whom the Center does not currently have a relationship.
In addition to having an engagement focus, the funded project must be a part of a larger effort to advance or promote healthy eating, food systems, health equity, active living, or reducing the harm of commercial tobacco. Some examples include:
- Making it easier and more convenient for people to eat or buy fresh, healthy foods
- Creating a wider variety of convenient transportation options in neighborhoods
- Creating places and spaces that make it easy for people to be physically active
- Working on safety issues that make it easier for people to walk, bike or play in their neighborhood
- Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke
Engagement in this context can be defined as strategies that encourage community member participation. People who care about, or are impacted by, the issue at hand should be a core ingredient to the execution and success of the project for which funding is being sought. Examples of engagement projects that could help to advance or promote efforts focused on healthy eating, food systems, health equity, active living, or reducing the harm of commercial tobacco include:
- Garnering community member input on the effort through outreach such as door knocking, walk-and-talks, community events
- Cultivating community member leadership to support the effort, including coalition building or development, training or holding convenings
- Growing community member participation in the effort, such as “base-building” or one-to-one relationship building activities
- Establishing other mechanisms for community dialogue around the effort, such as telephone-town halls or in-person town halls, or webinars
- Measuring people’s perception of the effort, such as surveying community members, conducting polling or focus groups
The Center will consider applications that meet the following guidelines:
- The project for which funding is being sought focuses on healthy eating, food systems, health equity, active living, or reducing the harm of commercial tobacco.
- The project is “shovel-ready,” meaning it is past the conceptual stage and that start-up and execution can begin immediately.
- The project is innovative and engagement-focused in that the primary focus is on community member participation, education, or activation.
- The applicant and project are Minnesota based.
- The applicant has capability to initiate the project before December 31, 2013, and complete the project by June 30, 2014.
- The applicant can provide a signed contract to Blue Cross within seven business days of receipt. The funding will be distributed via a contract for services.