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IPHI Awards Small Grants to Ten Cities and Towns to Implement Policies that Promote Access to Nutritious Foods and Opportunities for Physical Activity

For Immediate Release: September 1, 2015

Washington, DC – With up to $40,000 to award through its Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign, the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) has awarded grants to ten Maryland and Virginia municipalities to implement policies that promote access to nutritious foods and opportunities for physical activity.

The call for proposals was announced in May 2015, as the first time the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign was able to offer funding to its member municipalities. Two types of grants were made to municipalities that were HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign members as of June 25, 2015: six Kick-Off rants in the amount $500 and four Implementation grants in amounts of $5,000-$9,000. To become a member of the HEAL Campaign, local governments passed HEAL Resolutions outlining specific policy goals to create communities where all residents and employees can make healthy choices about physical activity and nutrition.

Implementation $5,000 – $9,000 Kick-Off $500
Town of Edmonston, MD Town of Capitol Heights, MD
City of Frederick, MD Town of Federalsburg, MD
City of Galax, VA City of New Carrollton, MD
City of Hyattsville, MD Town of New Market, VA
Town of Rock Hall, MD
Town of Sykesville, MD


These grants are intended to provide resources for cities and towns to implement an adopted HEAL policy in their community and increase access to nutritious food choices and/or opportunities for physical activity. For the purposes of the Small Grant Program, implementing a HEAL policy means to put it into effect. Often a lack of financial resources can be an obstacle for local governments to move from adopting a policy to policy implementation. This program aims to help address that barrier by providing funds that can help “jump-start” or fund part of an implementation effort. Grant recipients will have until February 12, 2016 to complete the grant-funded project. Kick-off grants required a 20% match and Implementation grants required a 50% match; eligible matching funds were cash or in-kind services and material. All implementation activities must take place in or directly impact incorporated cities, towns, or counties in Maryland and/or Virginia. Funding was generously provided by the Campaign sponsor, Kaiser Permanente for the Mid-Atlantic States.

“We are thrilled to support local governments to move beyond policy adoption to implementation,” said Mid-Atlantic Campaign director, Marisa Jones. “We know that policy change is necessary to combat chronic disease, but if we don’t work with localities to implement the HEAL policies they’ve adopted, we haven’t actually increased access to nutritious foods or physical activity. The goal of this grant program is to provide funding to cities, towns, and counties to implement the HEAL policies that they’ve adopted and actually change the environments to support healthy choices.”

Twenty-five high-quality applications were received. Each proposal was given serious consideration by an independent, seven-member external review committee representing active transportation, workplace wellness, environmental sustainability, hunger and nutrition, public health, and community development. The HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign currently has 48 member cities, towns, and counties in Maryland and Virginia; each community, regardless of award status is eligible to access all of the free HEAL resources the campaign offers to assist local governments to adopt and implement HEAL policies, including a series of webinars on HEAL policies, support from HEAL staff at IPHI, a policy menu with over 50 HEAL policies, fact sheets with guidance on the most popular HEAL policies, archived webinars on a number of topics, and downloadable slides from Campaign workshops.

About the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign

The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Cities & Towns Campaign is an initiative to support local elected officials and their staff to create communities where all residents can make healthy choices about physical activity and nutrition. Since 2012, the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) has partnered with the Maryland Municipal League, the Virginia Municipal League, and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States to provide technical assistance and training to local governments to adopt policies that improve their communities’ nutrition and physical activity environments. IPHI is the official public health institute for Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and is one of 44 members of the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

For more information about the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign, please visit or contact Marisa C. Jones at [email protected].

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For more information, contact:

Marisa C. Jones, Program Manager

Institute for Public Health Innovation

[email protected]