Healthy Kids/Bright Futures
We believe our children should have the opportunity to thrive in the communities where they live. They will be the drivers of improved health in their generation and the generations that follow. We created the Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative for this exact reason. Reaching our children is a crucial first step in giving them the tools they need to set them on a path to healthy adulthood.
The Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative focuses on improving the health of children, youth, and their families in Salem County. The County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report states that Salem County ranks 20th out of the 21 New Jersey counties in health behavior measures, including adult obesity and physical activity, and ranks last in overall mortality from premature death. In addition to the county’s obesity issue, high unemployment and poverty rates make food insecurity and food access a high priority.
New Jersey Kids Count report states that improvements have been made in pre-school enrollment and students receiving free or reduced-priced breakfast in schools. As of 2019-2020, there was a 49% increase in children attending a pre-school program. For this same time period, students receiving free or reduced-priced breakfast in schools increased 19%. Early access to education and students receiving breakfast before school help students do better in school.
The level of risky behaviors in teens continues to climb. For example, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, drug, and alcohol abuse vaping, and tobacco use ), as well as the negative impact of social media all, play a large part in the lives of our children and youth. These issues need tackling to ensure our children and youth make healthy decisions for the length of their lives.
When talking about the dangers of social media, cyberbullying and sexual predators get most of the press. However, many more subtle or hidden dangers of social media influence a whole generation of teenagers as they become young adults. With 89% of teenagers having a smartphone and 70% using social media multiple times a day, these digital dangers affect well-known and regular teens alike. In addition, almost 25% of young people reported that social media harms how they feel about themselves.
The areas mentioned above and the objectives listed below are the priorities of the Foundation in this initiative. Positively impacting the children and youth in our county through programs and services is the goal and purpose of the Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative.
Initiative Areas of Interest
The Foundation seeks to support evidence-based programs and proven intervention strategies that will support improved nutrition and physical activity and prevent youth from choosing risky behaviors that will impact their future lives. Policy, systems, and environmental change ideas are encouraged. Grants are not limited by the examples provided below. Out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged.
Nutrition/Children, Teens, and Adults
Objective #1 – To support programs and policies to improve nutrition and physical activity among Salem County’s children, teens, and adults.
Examples: Structured after-school physical activity programs, school gardens, pre-school nutrition programs
Objective #2 – To support programs and policies to improve food security and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables among lower-income, food-insecure Salem County residents.
Examples: assist emergency food pantry personnel to access fresh foods, innovative ideas to increase access to fresh foods, mobile pantries, healthy corner store initiatives in food deserts
Risk Behaviors in Teens
Objective #3 – To support programs addressing sexual behaviors that lead to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases.
Examples: educational programs in middle & high schools focused on the impact of a decision made in the teen years.
Objective #4 – To support programs addressing alcohol or drug abuse and vaping and tobacco use.
Examples: educational programs in middle & high schools and programs at the community level.
Objective #5 – To build the capacity of parents, community leaders, stakeholders, and other adults in the community to support young people.
Examples: educational programs/workshops in schools or at the community level where parents are involved with their teens.
Objective #6 – Negative effects of social media use on young people.
Examples: educational programs/workshops in schools or community groups
General Operating Grants
General Operating Support grants are flexible dollars to be used as needed to meet your mission. These funds may be used for operations, programs, staffing, capacity building, and overhead as long as your mission is aligned with one or more of the Foundation’s initiatives.
The Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives support organizations whose mission or programs address one or more of the following areas:
- Nutrition & Food Security
- Risk Behaviors in Teens/Tweens
- To Strengthening the Capacity of Caregivers, Parents and Community Leaders to Support the Healthy Lifestyles and Positive Choices of Young People
SH&WF grants may not be used to pay for capital improvements, fundraising events, paying down debt, or filling an operating deficit.
Grant Submission Process
The first step in submitting a grant request is to make an appointment to meet with the Foundation’s staff to discuss your project or service. If, after this meeting, you are encouraged to apply for funding, you will be asked to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) online.
Grant requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year, with awards being one year in duration. The review process can take up to 3 months to complete.
All applications must be submitted online – APPLY NOW.