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Safe and stable environments improve overall health for Arkansans

The social determinants of healthconditions in which people are born, grow, live and workhave a significant impact on health outcomes. Having a stable job can lower the risk of poverty and improve overall health. Economic stability affects access to healthy foods, safe, affordable housing and employment opportunities as determinants of health.  

Environments impact overall health

Physical activity opportunities, safe transportation, low crime levels, and clean water and air quality influence environments. Social and community contexts shape feelings of connection and inclusivity, impacting our sense of belonging to a community. It’s crucial to provide a community that is safe, stable and diverse through mentorships, life-based skills training, and group-based activities.  

In rural areas of the state, accessing quality healthcare may be challenging due to inconsistent employment and transportation when healthcare isn’t available locally. Promoting health and safety through education fosters a safer environment and leads to healthier longer lives. That’s why it’s important to educate Arkansans at an early age through support in the home, community, and educational institutions. Programs that improve literacy skills and support advancing higher education programs and childhood interventions are necessary.

“At the Blue & You Foundation, we understand the importance of whole-person health and are committed to supporting organizations that are impacting the wellbeing of Arkansans through the social determinants of health by providing healthy foods, financial support and safe housing.”Rebecca Pittillo, president, Blue & You Foundation 

The Blue & You Foundation will fund several programs across the state to improve overall health by addressing issues of safe housing, transportation, education, job opportunities, and access to nutritious foods.

SDoH Grantees to impact overall health:

  • EAST Initiative will create career-ready students in the underserved communities of the Delta Region by providing necessary technology to improve learning outcomes and increase engagement with STEM fields. 
  • Northwest Arkansas Food Bank will provide health food to communities such as senior centers and housing developments to improve their overall health and economic stability. This mobile pantry program will purchase dairy, fruit, and meat to provide 4.45 meals with every $1 invested. 
Safe and stable environments with food
Mobile Pantry at Northwest Arkansas Food Bank
  • Restore Hope will form collaborative care teams that will help families move from a place of crisis facing barriers like housing, transportation, employment, education, addiction recovery, and food instability by connecting them with community resources. 

2024 Behavioral Health Grant Deadlines

In addition to the $6 million in behavioral health grants of 2023, the Blue & You Foundation is committed to addressing mental health access, suicide and substance use among children and young adults. This grant cycle will improve early intervention, access and integrated behavioral healthcare and normalize the conversation around mental health.  

Deadlines for this grant cycle are: 

  • July 1: Letters of Intent Open 
  • July 12: Letters of Intent Deadline 
  • November 5: Award Announcements 

In addition, the Foundation will be awarding mini grants throughout the year on a rolling basis. These mini grants focus on school health initiatives, food pantry support, emergency response equipment and injury prevention. For more information, visit    

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