America faces a serious health crisis. As more adults have become overweight, their risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions has risen. What’s more, this crisis threatens to persist for generations, as children learn and adopt unhealthy behaviors that they carry into adulthood.
This is why the Aetna Foundation supports nonprofits that emphasize nutrition and motion – two critical ingredients in improving health.
Grants for community-based groups
Our GoLocal: Cultivating Healthy Communities grant program strives to increase access to healthy foods and improve opportunities for physical activity in underserved communities by:
- Cultivating healthful eating habits. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not always readily available and affordable in low-income neighborhoods. Our grantees are connecting communities with their local farmers’ markets, planting community gardens, and supporting urban farming.
- Encouraging physical activity. In communities where opportunities to be physically active may be limited, many grantee programs are encouraging walking or running. Others are blending fitness with mentoring and other wellness activities.
- Reaching people where they live, work and play. People often are more receptive to lifestyle-change messages that come from trusted sources. That’s why our grantees are working with local schools, churches, and community groups to reach people in ways that are relevant and well received - and that make a real difference.
Partnerships to prompt sustainable changes
More families need to make healthy eating and physical activity part of daily life. That's why the Aetna Foundation works with national institutions that are building health-improvement models that can be tested and tailored for success in local communities. Such efforts include evaluating farm-to-school concepts and using technology to help people make healthier food choices and incorporate exercise into their daily lives.