Endeavor Foundation announced today that it is releasing a Request for Proposals for $400,000 in grants to support the EnergizeNWA mission to increase access to healthy foods and physical activity in Northwest Arkansas.
Government agencies, schools, school districts, nonprofits and other community organizations that meet the eligibility requirements and selection criteria are encouraged to apply.
The EnergizeNWA initiative launched Jan. 31 at a summit that brought together 200 community leaders to discuss how to make Northwest Arkansas residents healthier and more active.
“At the EnergizeNWA summit, we heard many great ideas about the ways this community can work together to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Anita Scism, president and CEO of Endeavor Foundation. “Today marks one of the few times in our history that Endeavor has opened our grant application process in this competitive way. It’s our hope that we’ll receive proposals showcasing the solutions that hold the most promise for our region’s healthy future.”
The RFP focuses on a set of common goals reflecting input from the diverse community leaders at the summit. These goals — encouraging biking and walking as alternate transportation, increasing access to recreational facilities, expanding physical education activities for children, increasing availability/affordability of healthy foods and beverages, and pursuing initiatives that support healthy food choices — align with best practice recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Leadership for Healthy Communities, the Institute of Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“EnergizeNWA supports the vision of a Northwest Arkansas where healthy, affordable food is available in every neighborhood and every school cafeteria; where bicycling and walking become viable alternatives to driving; and where health and wellness activities are part of the fabric of everyday life,” said Dennis Smiley, president and CEO of Arvest Bank Bentonville and Chair of the Endeavor Foundation Board of Directors. “Endeavor is excited to help put some of these transformative ideas into action with our 2013 grant cycle.”
Endeavor will support programs, policies and infrastructure that increase access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities in Northwest Arkansas. Ideal applications will include multi-sector partnerships and a regional focus; support the needs of underserved populations; and help achieve progress toward long-term systemic change. Endeavor is also looking to support new ideas, help expand existing work in new ways, and replicate best practices in Northwest Arkansas that have worked in other communities.