Aetna to Award $2 Million in 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grants

Aetna's Cultivating Healthy Communities grants focus on increasing the health and wellness of underserved communities.
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The 2018 Aetna Cultivating Healthy Communities Grants will award $2 million to fund programs that increase health and wellness initiatives for underserved communities.

The two-stage application process for the Aetna Foundation’s 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities grants closed last month, and recipients should expect to be notified of their award by July 27th. Project start dates should fall between Aug. 20 and Oct. 15, 2018.

The grants, which are awarded to nonprofit organizations with the goal of bettering the lives of underserved communities, have been used in the past to promote healthy eating by funding programs that increase the availability and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as community garden initiatives and food budget assistance programs.

Projects can last between 18 and 24 months, with a maximum award of $100,000 for the duration. This year, applicants seeking grant funds chose from five domains centered around different areas of health and wellness:

#1 Built Environment

Programs should focus on increasing use of public spaces through additional walkable and bikeable paths and areas.

#2 Community Safety

In this area, programs should seek to collaborate with local law enforcement to address issues of public safety and public health.

#3 Environmental Exposures

Funds awarded for programs under this domain should seek to decrease community exposure to air and water contaminants, and promote increased understanding, monitoring and reporting of suspected local hazards.

#4 Healthy Behaviors

Programs should focus on increasing the community’s access and consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as increased physical activity and stress reduction, with an emphasis on policy change.

#5 Social/Economic Factors

Funds awarded for programs under this domain should be used to increase access to healthy foods through the development of enhanced retail options, such as resident-owned businesses.

Aetna’s Cultivating Healthy Communities grant recipients will be chosen and notified by July 27th. Check back here to see the winners.

Read more of EfficientGov’s coverage of community grants:

Walmart Community Grants Tackle Hunger, Education, Safety for Low-Income Families

2,000 Community Improvement Projects Considered for $25K Grants

Community Ties Grants for Safety, Resilience, Education & Placemaking

About the author

Rachel Engel

Rachel Engel

Author Rachel Engel is also Associate Editor of She is based in Kansas.