When it comes to awarding grants, Rebecca Pittillo, executive director of the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, knows that big things can often arrive in small packages- like mini grants.
The Blue & You Foundation focuses on ways to make Arkansas communities healthier. In 2022 alone, the foundation awarded $5 million in total grants to Arkansas nonprofits and governmental agencies, several of them for more than $100,000.
In 2023 the foundation awarded 209 mini grants ranging from $500 to $2,000.
One 2023 recipient of a mini grant from the Blue & You Foundation is prioritizing access to healthy food in its community. Green Groceries, a farm-to-church ministry of Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Little Rock, is located in a food desert (an area where people have difficulty accessing healthy foods). People living in food deserts are likely to rely on processed foods they can buy in convenience stores. Unfortunately, these foods can contribute to poor health outcomes.
The mission of Green Groceries is to support families in need with farm-fresh groceries and strengthen the local food network by buying produce from Arkansas farmers. The program works to provide an annual average of more than 300 points of fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, meat and eggs to participating families. The ministry strives to remove transportation and mobility barriers by using a network of volunteers to deliver the food.
Green Groceries also hosts events where people can fill a grocery bag with healthy food to take home. The Blue & You Foundation’s $2,000 mini grant helps the program purchase even more fresh foods and expand the number of people they serve.
“We are grateful for all the individuals and organizations- including the Blue & You Foundation- that support this unique food bank, now in its 10th year,” said Howison Hollenberg, Green Groceries’ program director. “These investments of time and money have allowed us to grow, serving more people and giving away more food at each distribution.”
Mini grants have the power to impact lives in your community! To learn more about Blue & You Foundation Mini Grants and other opportunities for funding, sign up for the e-newsletter at blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org to be well informed.