January 8, 2016

Saginaw Community Foundation awarded $250,000 grant

Saginaw Community Foundation awarded grant through Michigan Health Endowment Fund to address obesity-related issues in Saginaw County

The Saginaw Community Foundation is excited to announce it has been awarded a grant of $250,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support local initiatives that will address obesity-related issues for children, adolescents and senior adults in Saginaw County.


Grant funding from Saginaw Community Foundation will help Saginaw County non-profit organizations address obesity-related health issues as a collective. The following eight organizations will be impacted as a result of the grant:

• Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market

• Michigan State University Extension (MSUE)

• Pulse3 Foundation

• Saginaw County CHAP (Children’s Health Access Program)

• Saginaw County Parks & Recreation

• Saginaw Intermediate School District (Saginaw ISD)

• Mary’s of Michigan Center of Hope

• YMCA of Saginaw


These agencies will use education, opportunity and promotion to achieve the following goals:

1. Improve coordination among agencies/entities working towards reducing senior adult and childhood obesity;

2. Enhance nutrition and physical activity programs/initiatives;

3. Communicate consistent nutrition and physical activity messaging;

4. Advocate for community-wide policy and initiatives which increase healthy food choices and physical activity.


“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Saginaw Community Foundation to work closely with some of our community health partners,” said Reneé Johnston, president and CEO, Saginaw Community Foundation. “More importantly, receiving these additional funds will allow our health partners to enhance their efforts to address county obesity issues.”


Across the state, 29 community foundations were awarded funding through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s fall 2015 grant application process. Grant requests focused on areas such as: prenatal care and infant mortality, health services to support adopted and fostered children, healthy food access, wellness and fitness programs, access to mental health services, technology enhancements, health related transportation needs, access to care/integrated care and teen pregnancy prevention.


“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and seniors as a result of our first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, board chairman, Michigan Health Endowment Fund. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non-profit organizations as they continue their focused work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”


Community foundations were eligible to apply for grants in support of programs to improve the health of minor children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations receiving funding, in turn, now have the ability to offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support similar programs.


“We are excited to collaborate this year with community foundations on projects that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund.


The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year.


Additional information can be found at the Michigan Health Endowment Fund website or the Saginaw Community Foundation website.