Health Foundations Award $2.25 Million to Organizations Improving Health Outcomes and Promoting Civic and Voter Engagement
The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) is one of ten organizations named last fall as a recipient of a new multi-state partnership initiative, which will engage populations that are new to the political process. This initiative connects the importance of voting and civic engagement with long-term health.
The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) made the announcement in late October as part of a partnership with Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and REACH Healthcare Foundation to launch a new program, “Kansas Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE): Health Depends on a Vibrant Democracy.”
The purpose of IVE is to integrate year-round voter/civic engagement as a part of existing program work. The health of many Kansans is often affected by how much money they make, where they live, their education level, race or ethnicity. Low-income Kansans, African-Americans, Hispanics and those without a high school education often experience poorer health and may have reduced access to affordable health care. These same individuals are also less likely to vote or register to vote.
Ten organizations–nine in Kansas and one in Missouri–will receive $75,000 a year for three years, for a total grant of $225,000 per organization. Each grantee will incorporate year-round, non-partisan Integrated Voter Engagement into their existing work to serve at-risk populations. KHF provided funds for eight organizations. Each organization will be tasked with increasing voter registration and turnout in local, state and national elections, and encourage greater civic engagement between election cycles.
KRC’s grant will build a statewide IVE program focused on rural communities lacking consistent physical, social or economic access to healthy food; target audiences include Kansas farmers and ranchers seeking greater production and marketing diversity, and women farmers and socially disadvantaged minority farmers or citizens in rural areas. The project will build on KRC’s current policy and organizing and education efforts in rural areas of the state.
For information on the other grantees go to: http://kansashealth.org/2017/10/31/ive-release-2/.