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.
Application Round 1
Short Form Application Timeline
March 15, 2021
Call for Short Form Applications
April 5, 20215 pm Pacific
Short Form Application Deadline
April 20, 2021
Invited Applicants Timeline
April 20, 2021
May 16, 20215 pm Pacific
June 4, 2021
Notifications of Award/Decline
Application Round 2
Short Form Application Timeline
June 7, 2021
Call for Short Form Applications
July 11, 20215 pm Pacific
Short Form Application Deadline
July 26, 2021
Invited Applicants Timeline
July 26, 2021
August 22, 20215 pm Pacific
September 8, 2021
Notification of Award/Decline
Please note, we make every attempt to adhere to the posted timeline but is subject to change.
Policy Campaign Opportunity
The Voices for Healthy Kids’ mission is to support, drive and inform local, state and tribal policy change efforts that will dramatically improve the health of children who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, American Indian and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income through campaigns, partnerships/networks, research and communications.
Over the past few generations, our communities have changed dramatically. We’ve engineered physical activity out of our daily lives and, to a large extent, removed it from our schools. Unhealthy food is cheap, while it remains difficult for many families to afford the healthy food they need. Communities already burdened by years of disinvestment and bad policy are experiencing widening gaps in health equity. Public policy has led to current conditions and impactful policy change must be part of the solution. Together, we can make a positive impact.
We’re calling for change. Is your organization working on or ready to lead policy change efforts? Please consider applying for a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids.
The Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino/a, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander or from families who have low income.
To learn more about the Voices for Healthy Kids policy areas - please review the public policy priorities.
We do not award regional grants, multi-location funding, multi-issue area or support for technical assistance-based strategies. Grants will not be awarded for curricula development or implementation, equipment, operations of physical activity, nutrition or similar participant-based programs, capital expenditures, academic research or other non-advocacy purposes.
Voices for Healthy Kids believes campaigns are most successful through collaboration between community organizations, advocacy groups, coalitions and others. Therefore, the Policy Campaign Grant is a collaborative grant. All applications are expected to be submitted as a joint proposal of two or more organizations, either as lead and subgrantee collaboration or as co-leads. Voices for Healthy Kids values authentic community engagement and equity-building strategies in all aspects of supported campaigns and therefore requires at least one of the organizations in the joint proposal to be representative of or serve the interests of the listed priority populations.
Applications can be submitted for $50,000 - $200,000 for a duration of up to 18 months and can support non-lobbying and lobbying activities.
Voices for Healthy Kids has a two-step application process in the online grant management system. First, all interested, eligible applicants must submit a sort form application. Then, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application for consideration in a competitive review process.
All application instructions and the application form are located in the online grant management system.
For applicant convenience, below is a list of Word (.doc)
versions of our current grant application questions. Click on the links to
download the template to review and work in before copy and pasting your
application responses in the online form. These application templates are for
draft work ONLY - any application submission must be on the application forms
in our online grant management portal, which requires organizations to register.
Campaign Model Tool - Power Prism (required for policy
campaign full application)
Rapid Response Funding
Response Funding grants are designed to fund strategically targeted needs of
campaigns in push-for-passage mode. Funds may be requested up to $60,000 for a
time period of weeks to a few months. Rapid Response grants are open to
campaigns not currently or previously funded by Voices for Healthy Kids for the
requested policy lever. These grants are
designed to fund strategically targeted needs of campaigns in push-for-passage
mode and range from award period of weeks to a few months. Interested
applicants need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to
request a pre-screening call with a Policy Engagement Manager.
Finish Line Funding
Line Funding supports short-term, critically timed requests during the final
push-for-passage of policy. Voices for Healthy Kids provides the finish line funding
opportunity to current grantees nearing the end of their grant or past
grantees continuing their grant related work. Requests up to $50,000 with a
duration of weeks to a few months will be considered. Applicants should discuss the need with their Policy Engagement Manager to determine
eligibility and gain access to an application.
For applicant convenience, below is a list of Word (.doc) versions of our current grant application questions. Click on the links to download the template to review and work in before copy and pasting your application responses in the online form. These application templates are for draft work ONLY - any application submission must be on the application forms in our online grant management portal, which requires organizations to register.
- Policy Campaign Finish Line Funding Application Template (Coming Soon)
- Policy Campaign Rapid Response Application Template (Coming Soon)
- Policy Campaign Budget Template (Coming Soon)
Campaign Model Tool - Power Prism (required for policy campaign full application)
All applications are submitted through the Voices for Healthy Kids online grant management system, and registration is required. Please follow these simple steps to register:
- If you are a returning user to the system simply log into the Grant Management System. If you need to reset your password, please use “forgot my password,” enter your email address, and submit. You will receive an email with a link to update your password.
- If you are new to the Grant Management System, read the New to the Grants Management System instructions and click on “Create an Account Now.” You must register to access the application materials. It may take up to 2 business days for your registration to be approved. During open call for applications, registrations are reviewed several times daily. If you do not get an email by the end of the day, please check your junk folder. If you do not receive your log in credentials within 4 business hours, you may use the reset or create password link to gain access.
If you have any questions on the Voices for Healthy Kids Grant Opportunities, please contact Shannon Melluzzo, Grants Manager.
Applicants must be nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundation or non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations (no government agencies, including public schools).
Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, local, or tribal geographic location supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities.
Grant requirements include the ability to conduct lobbying activities as defined by the IRS code. If your organization is restricted to conducting educational activities and prohibited from conducting lobbying activities, you are not eligible for this grant.
Please consult your legal counsel for guidance on lobbying; however, in general, lobbying includes: communicating directly with legislators on specific legislation concerning your views on such legislation, or, communicating to the public on specific legislation concerning your views on legislation and asking them to take action.
for Healthy Kids values authentic community engagement and equity-building strategies
in all aspects of supported campaigns and requires at least one of the
organizations in the joint proposal to be representative of or serve the listed
priority populations (children who are Black/African
American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and children
living in families with low-income).
Voices for Healthy Kids has awarded policy
campaign grants to 16 nonprofit organizations nationwide for use in strategic
issue advocacy campaigns focused on improving health equity with a focus on economic
security, food security and healthy eating.
The grants range
from $50,000 to $250,000 for up to 18 months. They represent the latest round of
Voices for Healthy Kids grant funding, which aims to improve communities and the
lives of children and families that experience systemic racism and oppression
as underlying barriers to health.
News release: $2.5 million granted to 16 community organizations committed to racial health equity
- 16 awards to
organizations in 14 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
- Support policy
campaigns at the state, tribal and local levels to improve:
security, such as ensuring children and families have access to quality,
affordable early care and education
security and healthy eating by expanding state funding for Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Programs (SNAP), increasing access to clean water and building community
support for healthy kids’ meals and taxes on sugary drinks
- Community Farm Alliance
- Fusion Partnership fiscal
sponsor for SPACEs In Action
- Hunger Action Los Angeles
- Maryland Medical Society -
- Oklahoma Institute for Child
- Oral Health Kansas
- Pinnacle Prevention
- Small Business Majority
- Youth Development Institute
- American Heart Association (Arkansas, California, Georgia,
for Healthy Kids, which receives financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation and other funders, works around the country to improve or create
equitable policies that will make the places all kids, live, learn and play
healthier. The initiative supports local, tribal and state policy change
efforts that will dramatically improve the health of children who are
Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander or
families who have low income through grant opportunities, technical assistance
and capacity building. Additional opportunities for funding will be made
available each spring and fall.