Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Awarded $2.5 Million from Michigan Health Endowment Fund

In Press Release

New Initiative Will Improve Access to Healthy Food for Seniors and Children

DETROIT – The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan today announced it has been awarded a grant of $2.5 million from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support initiatives that improve access to healthy food for seniors and children throughout southeast Michigan.

The grant dollars will be used to launch Healthy Food Connect, an initiative designed to support innovation in healthy food access with educational initiatives and competitive grants for collaborations between organizations throughout the region with ideas and expertise in food, health, seniors, and/or youth. More details on Healthy Food Connect educational initiatives and grants will be released in February.

“Healthy Food Connect offers a unique opportunity to expand and replicate successful strategies, as well as create new partnerships, with the ultimate goal of making improvements to the health of young people and seniors in the region,” said Mariam C. Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “We are grateful to the Michigan Health Endowment for providing support to increase food access and improve health in our communities.”

More than 30 community foundations across the state applied for funding through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s fall 2015 grant application process. Grant requests focused on areas such as prenatal care and infant mortality; health services to support adopted and fostered children; healthy food access; wellness and fitness programs; access to mental health services; technology enhancements; health related transportation needs; access to care/integrated care; and teen pregnancy prevention.

“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and seniors as a result of our first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, board chairman. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other non- profit organizations as they continue their focused work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”

Community foundations were eligible to apply for grants in support of programs to improve the health of children and seniors in their regions. Those foundations receiving funding, in turn, now have the ability to offer their affiliate foundations or smaller community organizations the opportunity to seek grants that support similar programs.

“We are pleased to collaborate this year with community foundations on projects that seek to enhance the well-being of Michigan’s children and seniors in their local communities,” said Paul Hillegonds, executive director of Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

The mission of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The fund was created as part of 2013 state legislation that allowed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to become a nonprofit mutual health insurer. Nearly $38 million in grants were awarded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund last year. Additional information about the Michigan Health Endowment Fund can be found at

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $800 million through more than 55,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit