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Rural Health Information Hub

Addressing Childhood Obesity and Health Inequities

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Letter of Intent (Required): Jun 27, 2024
Application: Oct 24, 2024

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is offering funding for projects that are working to promote systems level change to prevent childhood obesity, address structural racism, and advance health equity.

Preference is given to projects that:

  • Address structural racism and other systems that perpetuate health inequities
  • Respond to gaps in evidence or action identified by the field
  • Engage with communities most impacted by childhood obesity and nutrition insecurity and organizations focused on people of color
  • Leverage and complement existing field assets

Strategies include:

  1. Influence policy and systems change
    • Help government, communities, organizations, and coalitions advance stronger government rules, enforcement, and capacities to address structural racism and change systems that perpetuate health inequities, including the disparities in childhood obesity prevalence
    • Monitor, enforce, and support implementation of existing policies, regulations, and programs that have demonstrated positive impact on child nutrition and well being at the local, state, and national level
    • Strengthen the impact and reach of federally funded food and nutrition programs help to shape and advance action that addresses the commercial determinants of health
    • Fill gaps in data, knowledge, and analysis that lawmakers, regulators, advocates, clinicians, and community leaders need for advocacy, enforcement, activism, policy making, and systems transformation
  2. Produce and disseminate actionable evidence and data
    • Ensure ongoing access to and continued development of research, data, and surveillance at the intersection of childhood obesity and health and racial equity
    • Generate qualitative and quantitative evidence and information for decision makers
    • Fill gaps in the research and data on racism within the food system and its impact on communities of color
  3. Catalyze investment in communities
    • Center historically marginalized communities, create economic opportunities, and build community assets and power via community-anchored food projects
    • Build and strengthen infrastructure that supports equitable community conditions as they relate to child health and obesity prevention
  4. Change narratives
    • Elevate community voices and help to shift public narratives away from those that create harm to those that foster belonging, health equity, and shared solutions
    • Continue to move the popular narrative on childhood obesity away from a narrative of personal responsibility and toward a systems narrative
    • Ensure state, local, and regional policymakers, and others who build, govern, and finance communities understand the connection between place, race, and health and, in this case, its connection to food ecosystems, with the ultimate goal of encouraging community decision makers to rethink the way they design, plan, and implement food systems

Applicants must be based in the United States or its territories and have the organizational infrastructure that demonstrates sufficient capacity and history to conduct proposed efforts in a timely, well-managed way that leads to desired outcomes

Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations.

Applications are encouraged from organizations that are led by or that reflect the leadership of Black or African American; American Indian, Alaska Native, or Indigenous; Hispanic, Latinx/e, or Latin American; Middle Eastern or North African; Asian or Asian American; and/or Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander communities.

Geographic coverage
Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Amount of funding

Award amount: At least $1,000,000
Project period: 1-4 years
Estimated number of awards: 6
Estimated total program funding: $22,000,000

Applicants should request the amount of funding they will need to complete the proposed project.

Application process

Links to additional guidance, application instructions, and the online application portal are available on the program website.

Submit a concept paper online by June 27, 2024. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal, with a deadline of October 24, 2024.

Tagged as
American Indian or Alaska Native · Asian · Black or African American · Food security and nutrition · Health disparities · Hispanic or Latino · Middle Eastern or North African · Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander · Obesity and weight control · Policy

Organizations (1)

For complete information about funding programs, including your application status, please contact funders directly. Summaries are provided for your convenience only. RHIhub does not take part in application processes or monitor application status.