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$40,000 Available to HEAL Cities and Towns to Implement HEAL Policies

HEAL Cities and Towns LogoHEAL Cities & Towns Campaign Offering $40,000 in Small Grants to Maryland and Virginia Cities and Towns

This spring, for the first time ever, cities and towns in Maryland and Virginia have an opportunity to obtain new resources to increase local options for healthy eating and active living from the Healthy Eating Active Living Cities & Towns Campaign for the Mid-Atlantic.  Since 2012, the Institute for Public Health Innovation has partnered with the Maryland and Virginia Municipal Leagues to support local leaders to create healthy communities through the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign.

The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign is offering $40,000 in grants to HEAL cities and towns for implementation of HEAL policies.  Funding is provided by the Institute for Public Health Innovation through the generosity and continued support of  Kaiser Permanente for the Mid-Atlantic States. The official application will be posted on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign website ( on May 4, 2015, and will close on June 25, 2015. All cities that join the HEAL Cities &Towns Campaign by June 25, 2015 will be eligible to apply for these grant funds.

Two types of funding are available:

  • Kick-Off grants up to $500 (up to 6 awards)
  • Implementation Grants will be between $5,000 and $9,000 (4-6 awards)

Here are some examples of HEAL policies; with implementation projects that could be funded with these grant funds:

Kick-Off Grants (up to $500)
HEAL Policy Implement Policy by using Kick-Off Grant Funds to:
Adopt a nutrition standard for catering for city/town meetings and events Plan a training event for staff who order food/catering and order lunch from vendors that meet nutrition standard
Adopt an active stairwell policy Improve lighting, purchase posters and stair risers
Adopt a policy promoting consumption of water in the workplace Install a water bottle filling water fountain in a place where free drinking water is not currently available
Include walkability goals in Comprehensive Plan/Adopt a policy to install wayfinding signs in city/town Develop walking trail map and install temporary signs to prototype permanent installation
Implementation Grants ($5,000 – $9,000)
HEAL Policy Implement Policy by using Implementation Grant Funds to:
Adopting a Complete Streets policy that encourages biking and walking. Conduct a capacity building workshop for staff in Planning and Public Works Departments on how the Complete Streets policy changes their current approach to street and road design.Develop priorities and development plans for sidewalks and bike lanes in under-resourced neighborhoods. Add “sharrows” to an existing road to create a shared use lane.
Adopting guidelines for provision of Community Gardens to increase food access. Purchase the materials necessary for the city to provide water to the community garden.
Adopting connectivity policies to link existing sidewalks and trails to create a more walkable city. Promote use of connected walkway by seniors, families, and people with disabilities by installing benches. Create walking maps that show path from residential areas to needed services.
Adopting policies to support expanded urban agriculture sites and uses to increase access to fresh food. Support staff time from council of governments or other city planning resource to amend zoning or development code.

If your community would like to apply for a grant and is not already a HEAL City or Town, the first step is to join the Campaign.   Please contact Marisa Jones at [email protected] or 202-803-6121. For more information on the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, visit

 About the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign 

The Campaign highlights the crucial role local governments can play in creating healthy communities for their residents by adopting policies that expand healthy options where residents live, work, and play.  The Campaign offers many tools to cities and towns including:

  • a policy library and  info sheets with guidance on the most popular HEAL options, at;
  • periodic webinars featuring national experts and the perspective of local government leaders;
  • workshops held in conjunction with League events and on their own; and
  • free consultation and technical assistance.

To date, 35 cities and towns in Maryland and Virginia have joined the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign by adopting HEAL Resolutions with specific policy goals to advance healthy eating and active living in their communities.