All of our funded campaigns must pursue policy through legislation, regulation, executive order, or ballot initiative but not through voluntary or programmatic success. These are public policy goals; therefore, public policy interventions are necessary. If you are selected to submit a full application, you will receive further instructions defining what we have determined are our policy bottom lines related to our policy goals. Please note we only fund 501 c-3 organizations and do not fund government employees or programs.
Increase access to healthy foods through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs
Voices for Healthy Kids funds SNAP appropriations policy campaigns at the local and state level that increase participant access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We fund state and local campaigns that seek to secure government funds for SNAP incentives and produce prescriptions programs. Funds can be used to establish or expand dollar-for-dollar match programs, purchase technology, support staffing and/or promote participation. We do not fund non-binding policy or incremental change such as general access, seeking of USDA waivers, or other systems changes that are administrative only or otherwise not sustainable.
Healthy Kids’ Restaurant Meals
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that work to help transform the food environment for kids in restaurants through passing healthy kids’ meals policies. Voices for Healthy Kids funds two campaign types (1) set nutritional standards for restaurant kids’ meals or (2) make healthier beverages the default beverage in restaurant kids’ meals. Full nutritional standards for restaurant meals are the ideal and healthy default campaigns should be building to that goal. Voices for Healthy Kids relies on the Healthy Eating Research 2019 Recommendations for Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood to define healthier beverage options and the RAND Corporations Performance Standards for Restaurants when looking at overall nutritional standards for kids’ meals.
We do not fund voluntary campaigns.
Sugary Drink Taxes
Voices for Healthy Kids fund community -centered campaigns that work with policy makers at the local, state or tribal level to adopt excise taxes on sugary drinks to reduce consumption and raise revenue to address health disparities in communities most impacted by sugary drinks. The tax design, planning and implementation, including revenue allocation, should be developed through a process driven-by communities most impacted by health disparities.
We do not fund campaigns without authentic engagement of those most impacted by sugary drinks throughout the campaign. We do not fund campaigns that do not seek to reinvest a significant portion of the funds raised by the tax back into the communities most impacted by sugary drinks.
Head Start and Early Care & Education
Voices for Healthy kids seeks to fund campaigns in the early care and education space that seek to increase healthy standards and improve access to quality programs. It also seeks to increase state funding to Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Please see the detail about each of those policy areas below:
Early Care and Education Standards:
We fund campaigns that create or update the state childcare licensing structure or Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to meet specific nutrition, active play, sugary drink, and screen time standards. Nutrition Standards must be consistent with the meal patterns of the most recent version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Physical activity standards must be consistent with the most recent version of the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards for Early Childhood Programs OR the Caring for Our Children (CFOC) standards as developed as part of a collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. Screen time standards must be consistent with the most recent version of the YMCA’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards for Early Childhood Programs OR the Caring for Our Children (CFOC) standards as developed as part of a collaboration between the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.
Funding for Early Care and Education Access
We fund campaigns that aim to secure state or local funding to increase access to quality childcare programs for children in low-income communities by providing better supports to childcare providers. The minimum annual appropriation must be $300,000, $500,000 or $1 million depending on the population of the state or locality based on 2010 U.S. Census and include at least one of the following priorities:
- Increase subsidy reimbursement rates for child-care providers meeting HEPA standards through licensing or QRIS.
- Secure funding for targeted outreach, recruitment, and retention of licensed ECE programs and pre-licensure technical assistance. Prioritize funding to build supply in rural areas, child-care deserts, areas with a high proportion of exempt providers, and family childcare homes.
- Assist childcare facilities in securing funding for capital improvements which would help facilitate HEPA standard implementation.
Funding for Technical Assistance & Grant Opportunities for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards
We fund campaigns that aim to establish funding at the state or local level for dedicated technical assistance and grant opportunities for early care and education providers operating in or serving low-income communities to adopt and implement nutrition, active play, and screen time standards.
- Requires state or local appropriated funding to support designated staffing of at least 1.0 FTE, program implementation, technical assistance, and monitoring.
- Minimum annual appropriation of $300,000, $500,000 or $1 million depending on the population of the state or locality based on the 2010 U.S. Census.
Head Start Appropriations
We fund campaigns that aim to secure state funding to support Head Start/Early Head Start programs for currently eligible children and/or children from families above current income eligibility requirements. Minimum annual appropriation of $1 million, $3 million or $5 million depending on the population of the state based on the 2010 U.S. Census.
We do not fund policy campaigns that aim to create new state/local agencies, the creation of new citizen’s committees or ‘Children’s Cabinets.’ We also do not fund campaigns that aim to require only from-scratch cooking/non-packaged food or vegetarian/vegan only food in the childcare environment.
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that support efforts to protect health and well-being and build healthy, equitable communities by promoting and defending local government power. “Preemption” refers to policies that stop or limit lower forms of governments like cities and counties from enacting local policies like tobacco, nutrition and health regulations. We fund two state-level policy opportunities: (1) Support the repeal of existing state laws limiting the ability of cities and counties to regulate, tax or otherwise enact laws stronger than state law related to building healthy, equitable communities, (2) Oppose new legislation or policies limiting the ability of cities and counties to regulate, tax or otherwise enact laws stronger than state law related to building healthy, equitable communities.
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that aim to pass policy at the state or school-district level that implement, at minimum, the beverage, snack, and meal guidelines as intended by the 2012 school meals and 2016 competitive foods final rules, while ensuring that the nutrition standards are aligned with the most current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
We do not fund campaigns that concern capital infrastructure appropriations (i.e. kitchen equipment), purchasing agreements, packaging, from-scratch cooking requirements or vegetarian/vegan only policies.
Water in Schools
Voices for Healthy Kids funds campaigns that help enact policies at the state or school-district level to increase access to drinking fountains in schools, encourage water consumption throughout the school day and during school-based activities. We fund campaigns at the state, county or school district level that help enact policies that ensure all newly constructed schools and schools undergoing major renovations have water bottle filling stations. We also fund appropriations policy campaigns that support water bottle filling station installations, prioritizing Tier 1 and high-needs schools first.
We do not fund policy campaigns that concern water quality testing, ppm requirements, infrastructure/water pipeline replacement, or environmental mitigation.