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Cigna earmarks $5 million in grants to reduce child food insecurity

Many schools in the U.S. have programs and partnerships offering food and nutrition support, which Cigna is seeking to augment.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

The Cigna Foundation is inviting nonprofit organizations working to reduce child food insecurity to apply for funding through its Healthier Kids For Our Future grant program. The program will provide grants to community organizations totaling up to $5 million over the next year.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Without proper nutrition, children face significant health risks. The Cigna Foundation seeks to address this challenge by funding programs that bracket or augment school-related efforts to provide food and nutritional education to children. U.S. schools are a focal point for addressing child health issues, and many already have programs and partnerships offering food and nutrition support.

Examples of programs eligible for funding through the Healthier Kids For Our Future grant program include community-based programs that support access to healthy meals and nutritional education outside the school setting, on weekends and during the summer; food and nutritional programs that provide support for expectant mothers and caregivers; programs that address the food and nutrition needs of preschool children; healthcare provider efforts that navigate patients to nutritional education and/or food as prescription programming; and school-based programs that enhance or augment state and/or federal assistance efforts.

Those looking to determine eligibility can do so here.

THE LARGER TREND

Regular access to nutritious and sufficient food is the starting point for a healthier, more productive life. More than 12 million children in America experience food insecurity, which can significantly impact their physical and mental health, according to data from Feeding America. Lack of quality nutrition can lead to physical and mental health problems, emotional and behavioral problems, obesity and preventable chronic conditions that may be carried into adulthood.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com