Grantees Announced for Promoting Community Priorities for Recovery Funds
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is excited to announce that five organizations have received multi-year funding, as part of a recent open opportunity to support community-identified priorities at the county and municipal level to promote health equity as it relates to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The grants provide technical assistance and consultation to community-based organizations to develop new partnerships and practices that promote local planning and increased perspectives in decision-making aimed at reducing barriers to health and health equity.
“Through our partnerships with these five organizations, more communities will have access to strategies, data, and tools to speak about and share local community priorities,” said Valerie Stewart, Director of Leadership and Capacity Building. “This is an important moment for community organizations and local residents to come together and have their voices heard about what matters most to create a healthier, thriving community for all.”
Each organization will receive $300,000 of funding over two years, with up to $100,000 a year supporting technical assistance and $50,000 a year in mini-grants made available to their community-based organization partners.
The organizations selected to receive funding include:
- Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a farmer-driven, membership-based nonprofit organization that helps people in North and South Carolina grow and enjoy local, organic food. They have successfully united farmers, consumers, and businesses to build a just, healthy food and farming future by advocating for fair farm and food policies. CFSA is also a Community Food Strategies team member, which supports the network of 37 food policy councils across the state, and in partnership will convene a cohort of five to ten local food councils, which will participate in ARPA-related policy and budget training, shared work sessions, and individual technical assistance and coaching. Specific priority issues will be identified at the local level.
- MDC Rural Forward envisions healthier, more resilient rural communities to ensure all people thrive. With an overall goal of increasing equity and opportunity across the South, the organization carries out its mission to build capacity and develop resources that amplify the impact of rural leaders, organizations, and coalitions. They will convene a learning network to support community-based organizations in Cleveland, Cumberland, Franklin, Henderson, and Halifax Counties with collaborative partners. Local advocates have identified safe housing, teen homelessness, bilingual service navigation, regional transportation, and long-term disaster recovery as top priorities.
- North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations (NCACDC) is a statewide organization working to strengthen the North Carolina economy and create a better tomorrow for all North Carolinians through partnerships with community-based economic development organizations. They will continue their intensive work in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties by providing community stakeholders with ARPA policy expertise, supporting strategic alliance development and engaging low-wealth resident leaders to advocate and engage with local elected officials. NCACDC and its partner organizations will also focus on affordable housing and health inequities.
- North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations (NCCLO) is a statewide, membership led organization that builds power among Latino institutions and their leaders to advance social, racial, and economic justice. The organization works for the public good by coalescing, training, and organizing Latinos and allies across religious, racial, nationality, class, county, and neighborhood lines. They will partner with five multi-racial organizations the Latino Congress has seeded in the state’s major urban areas to focus on priorities including housing affordability and safety, increased investment in K-12 education, and health care access. NCCLO will also provide training and technical assistance to grassroots leaders on county/municipal budgeting processes.
- Pisgah Legal Services seeks to pursue justice by providing legal assistance and advocacy to help underserved communities meet their basic needs and improve their lives. They will provide individualized technical support to western North Carolina community-based organizations. In addition to sharing their ARPA-related policy expertise, Pisgah will provide organizational support to ensure that community-based organizations are well-positioned to leverage ARPA funds for continued growth. Local priorities include ongoing funding to expand roles for community health workers to promote health equity and access for populations that have been historically marginalized or underserved by the health system.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is a private, charitable foundation established as an independent entity by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in 2000. Over the past two decades, the organization has worked with - and supported - nonprofit organizations, government entities, and community partnerships across the state, investing $190 million into North Carolina through nearly 1,300 grants. Within its focus areas of early childhood, healthy communities, healthy food, and oral health, the Foundation strives to address the key drivers of health, taking a flexible approach designed to meet identified needs in partnership with the community. Learn more at bcbsncfoundation.org