DES MOINES, Iowa (May 10, 2021) — The Wellmark Foundation has notified 13 Iowa organizations they will receive Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) grants, contingent upon securing the required dollar-for-dollar match. To ensure community support for these projects, organizations have until Aug. 25 to secure their matching funds. Each of these grantees are planning projects that can help individuals, families and communities achieve better health through built environment initiatives that encourage physical activity and providing access to healthy foods.
“The Wellmark Foundation is excited to see the planning, focus and community engagement in each of the selected applications,” said Mary Lawyer, executive director for The Wellmark Foundation. “Each project has the potential to make a positive, long-term impact on the overall health and well-being of community which will enhance the quality of life for generations to come.”
Central Iowa Shelter & Services, $100,000
Agri-Hood (Des Moines)
Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) provides more than 200,000 meals per year to onsite emergency shelter and permanently housed clients, an additional 5,000 meals per year to anyone who is hungry and comes in for free daily lunches, and 165,000 meals per year at 17 meal sites. To fulfill these food access needs for the most vulnerable members of the community, while also being responsive to additional community needs, CISS is constructing a large-scale Agri-Hood to increase food production, build client job skills, and develop an attractive green space for all downtown residents and visitors. The Agri-Hood will include a new greenhouse with vertical gardens, aquaponics (fish ponds), outdoor floating garden beds, and an expanded orchard that, in total, will produce the equivalent of 25 acres of food. The Agri-Hood will double current production, while also generating enough vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish to share with food banks.
“Since 1991, The Wellmark Foundation has provided more than $36.6 million in grant funding to communities across Iowa and South Dakota,” said Lawyer. “While a tremendous amount of work has been accomplished over the past 30 years, The Wellmark Foundation recognizes sustainable changes take time and we are pleased to continue to offer these grant opportunities.”
To view previous Wellmark Foundation MATCH grant recipients, visit Wellmark.com/Foundation.