New Grant Program by United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation to Fund Innovative Solutions to Improve Children’s Health and Nutrition

October 01, 2015
  • $500,000 contribution from United Health Foundation will support children’s health and nutrition projects across the country
  • Program seeks to break link between poverty, and lack of access to healthy foods and nutrition education

United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation will provide $150,000 in the first round of grants to support innovative projects nationwide that will improve children’s health and nutrition. This first round of grants is partly funded by United Health Foundation’s $500,000 contribution to the Whole Kids Foundation.

The funding comes at a critical time as almost 20 percent of children in the United States are living in poverty. According to America’s Health Rankings, these children are about three times more likely than other children to have their health needs unmet. Improving access to healthy foods and nutrition education helps improve the health of children, especially children living in poverty.

The Healthy Kids Innovation Grant program will support the next generation of innovative ideas in children’s health and nutrition, and engage kids in making good food choices. The program and grants will bring together multi-sector leaders in food, health, fitness and technology in support of the next big idea. The program is open to educators, individuals and nonprofit organizations seeking to break down barriers to basic, but critical information and resources, such as where food comes from and the importance of eating healthy foods. Preference will be given to projects that have a case study and are ready to expand across at least one grade level.

The grants are part of United Health Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program, which provides resources to local nonprofits with programs aimed at expanding access to care, improving health outcomes and building healthier communities.

The organizations announced the Healthy Kids Innovation Grant program at West Vernon Elementary.

“United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation are supporting the efforts of nonprofits and schools in bringing new, innovative solutions to serving and educating children on the importance of good health and nutrition,” said Brandon Cuevas, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of California. 

“Through this new collaboration with United Health Foundation we have set out to find the next generation of ideas and leaders to improve children’s health and nutrition – so that all children can reach their ultimate and unlimited potential,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director, Whole Kids Foundation. “By working collaboratively, we are able to leverage diverse knowledge and expertise to recognize and amplify effective solutions with the goal of quickly creating broad-reaching change.”

Grant deadlines and timeline

Letters of intent for the program are due Nov. 30. Applications for the grant program are due Dec. 15, and the grantees will be announced in March 2016. The amount of each grant will range from $15,000 to $25,000. For more information on how to apply, visit or email

About Whole Kids Foundation

Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. By empowering schools and inspiring families, the foundation aims to help children reach optimal health through the strength of a healthy body fueled by nutritious food.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $240 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at