ALBUQUERQUE — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) awarded more than $570,000 in grants to 26 nonprofits statewide through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® (HKHF) initiative. These grants address social determinants of health (SDOH) that can impact the well-being of the communities BCBSNM serves, and this year the grants also focused on economic stability.
“Health and wellness depend on many factors outside the health care system, including education, employment, housing and food security, to name only a few,” said Janice Torrez, BCBSNM president. “The recipients of our 2022-2023 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grants have designed purposeful, innovative programs that focus on these and other important issues affecting our state — all with the end result of making a significant difference in the lives of our fellow New Mexicans.”
The grants focus on the following areas of SDOH:
- Economic Stability
- Neighborhood and Physical Environment
- Education Access and Quality
- Food and Access to Healthy Food Options
- Community and Social Context
- Health Care Access and Quality
Through a competitive grant application process, the HKHF program evaluates applications from 501(c)(3) organizations every year based on impact, feasibility, capacity, collaboration and sustainability. This year, the grants were awarded for programs taking place from July 2022 through June 2023.
The 2022-2023 HKHF grantees include:
Northern New Mexico
- Economic Council Helping Others: Teaching preschool children the importance of healthy foods by developing and maintaining a garden.
- Many Mothers: Providing infants and caregivers with in-home services and wraparound care aimed at creating healthier outcomes.
- Rebuilding Together Sandoval County: Providing critical home repairs for low-income homeowners. Home repairs consist of correcting significant housing deficiencies, eliminating safety hazards and creating a healthier home environment.
- Santa Fe Indigenous Center: Providing continued support for the Emergency Financial Assistance program that helps Native families avoid homelessness, destabilization and family separation through financial assistance.
Central New Mexico
- Albuquerque SANE Collaborative: Providing the satellite Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at Valencia Shelter Services in Los Lunas for individuals who have experienced sexual or domestic violence.
- Barrett Foundation: Supporting homeless women and children through a daily nutritional program and coordination with community health resources.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central New Mexico (including Northwest): Providing outdoor physical activities and educational opportunities for children and youth who may not have the opportunity to participate in nature activities.
- Cuidando los Niños: Supporting 60 parents with workforce development, education, financial literacy, and life skill-building opportunities to achieve financial independence and permanently lift families out of homelessness.
- Fraction Farms: Supporting growing and donating healthy, organic produce for charities that serve community members in need, including people experiencing food insecurity and homelessness.
- Keshet Dance Company: Supporting physical activity and a safe environment for low-income and disabled children and their families through Dance Education and Performance programming and a non-competitive Youth Scholarship Program.
- Kids Cook: Providing nutrition and culinary education during the school day at 12 low-income elementary schools.
- Meal on Wheels of Albuquerque: Connecting homebound community members experiencing food insecurity with fresh, seasonal produce and healthy prepared foods grown and produced by local farmers and food entrepreneurs.
- Oasis Albuquerque: Providing a literacy-based mentoring program that pairs trained older adult volunteers with students in grades K-4 who are reading below grade level.
- PB&J Family Services: Providing children’s support groups that focus on social-emotional well-being, positive peer interactions, and community involvement through shared learning, creative exploration and activism.
- Domestic Violence Resource Center: Providing advocacy, case management, education and community outreach services when interpersonal violence occurs, working to prevent future abuse, stabilize families and end the cycle of domestic violence.
- Saranam: Supporting housing and education services at Saranam’s new campus for families experiencing homelessness.
- TenderLove Community Center: Empowering homeless, near-homeless and low-income individuals to achieve stable, self-supporting lives for themselves and their families through case management, recovery housing, transportation and other resources.
- United Way of Central New Mexico: Supporting a whole-family approach to health and wellness through early childhood education, housing stability and financial security.
Southern New Mexico
- Bootheel Youth Association: Implementing an after-school wellness club for children in grades K-8 that provides kids and their families with education, tools and resources to live physically active lives.
- Jardin de los Niños: Providing high-quality, comprehensive child care and therapeutic early intervention services to children ages six weeks to three years experiencing homelessness or near homelessness.
- New Mexico State University Foundation: Providing free dental hygiene services to students attending Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces.
- American Cancer Society: Educating New Mexicans on the importance of cancer-related screenings through comprehensive state and regional awareness messaging and educational materials.
- New Mexico Appleseed: Supporting systemic change that yields permanent and long-term improvement on hunger, homelessness, family economic security, child mistreatment and education.
- New Mexico CASA Association: Strengthening and growing local CASA programs that serve abused and neglected children in foster care.
- New Mexico Dental Association Foundation: Increasing oral health literacy among children and families, increasing access to oral health care and providing access to oral hygiene supplies.
- Pegasus Legal Services for Children: Offering free, bilingual civil legal services to children, youth and their caregivers, including information and advice, direct representation, community legal action and systemic advocacy.