American Heart Association, Walmart Foundation strengthening food ecosystems to improve food access

American Heart Association

DALLAS, Monday, May 10, 2021 – To sustainably address food insecurity in Chicago and Atlanta, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, today announced 12 local businesses and nonprofits will receive $2.1 million in funding from the Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund.

Thanks to a $5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation as part of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity, two separate rounds of funding will be made available through the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund. The nationwide fund provides financial resources for evidence-based, community-driven entrepreneurial solutions that help remove the social and economic barriers to health equity. All of the first-round fund recipients are minority and/or women-led and are operating within under-invested, food insecure communities.

“The Walmart Foundation is helping to bring healthy, nutritious food to people in under-resourced communities in Chicago and Atlanta,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association.” Through their generous support of the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, together we are providing needed resources to organizations and social entrepreneurs who are making wide-reaching and lasting impact in communities across the nation.”

“Together with the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, we are supporting community-based entrepreneurs in Chicago and Atlanta that are expanding access to affordable and healthy food,” said Kirstie Sims, senior director of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. “Improving access to fresh food in food insecure communities is a key part of our mission to address health disparities.”

The first set of recipients are:

Atlanta:

  • Atlanta Harvest is a black-owned, family-operated, multi-generational farm and food hub operating within food insecure counties.
  • Common Market Southeast (CMSE) is a minority-led nonprofit food hub that purchases produce from over 45 farms throughout the southeast and sells to institutions serving low-income populations and those most at risk for diet-related illness.
  • Gilliams Community Garden is a Black-led nonprofit urban farm and mobile market providing fresh, healthy, locally grown food that is accessible and affordable for all.
  • Concrete Jungle is a non-profit that solves the mismatch between the abundance of urban fruit trees and rural farms and the significant need for access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food in food insecure communities.
  • Community Farmers Markets operates convenient, permanent farmers markets and produce stands at public transit stations in food insecure neighborhoods.
  • PrepGuys is start-up social enterprise that sells healthy, nutritious meal kits via a “pay-what-you-can” model to low-income residents.

Chicago:

  • Fresher Together is a Black-led, early-stage food hub and urban farm providing affordable produce for residents within food deserts.
  • Multiple Harvest is a Kenyan immigrant-led, early-stage urban farming business growing and selling popular African cultural staple produce.
  • OjaExpress is an early-stage tech startup that expands access to ethnic, cultural and religious healthy grocery items in immigrant communities through an ethnic grocery delivery platform.
  • Forty Acres Fresh Market is a Black woman-led start-up grocer and produce delivery service founded in response to the lack of fresh food options.
  • Stone Temple Church, Del Kar’s Pharmacy, and the Greening Committee are partnering to create a replicable local food ecosystem to improve the health and well-being of the community.
  • Urban Growers Collective, a Black women-led nonprofit, is building economic opportunities for urban farmers and increasing food access through a mobile produce market.

Social entrepreneurs and nonprofits may submit expressions of interest for the remaining funding through June 4, 2021. Virtual informational “town hall” events in Atlanta and Chicago will connect community members and American Heart Association staff to discuss the challenges and opportunities of addressing food insecurity to help ensure funds are distributed to areas of greatest need and impact.

Atlanta Tyson Impact Fund Town Hall

May 12, 2021

9:00 am CST / 10:00 am EST

Register here

Chicago Tyson Impact Fund Town Hall

May 13, 2021

10:00 am CST / 11:00 am EST

Register here

Since its launch in June 2020, the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund has supported 15 social entrepreneurs and nonprofits in New York, San Francisco, Seattle/Puget Sound and Oakland, Calif. The fund honors the late Bernard J. Tyson, long-time American Heart Association volunteer and former Kaiser Permanente CEO. Tyson worked tirelessly to overcome structural and systemic barriers to support social justice and equitable health for all.

To learn more about the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund and future funding opportunities, visit heart.org/ bernard-j-tyson-fund.

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