The Healthy Living Team is the forward-facing service provided by Giant Food that supports, encourages, and connects our local communities and associates to foods and services that improve their health and wellbeing. The team is comprised of 11 licensed nutrition professionals that include Registered Dietitians and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. In addition to providing free nutrition services, the HLT works to improve the knowledge of healthy food and its benefits, the affordability of food in underserved areas and provide more access to healthy food in the communities served by our stores In 2018 Giant Food made the commitment to launch a neighborhood health improvement program in Ward 8 of Washington, DC. As the district’s community with the highest rates of poverty, paired with the highest rates of chronic disease, there was real opportunity to change the trajectory by implementing a strong food-driven wellness initiative. Since then, Giant food has invested $2.4 million in improving health outcomes in Ward 8 with programs like Produce Rx which was launched in 2019 and has tripled in scope over the last three years. In 2021, The HLT expanded Giant Food’s Nutrition Incentive Programs into Prince George’s County, Maryland and announced the first Washington D.C. Ward 8 Healthy Living Microgrant recipients.
Ward 8 Healthy Living Microgrant Program
In September of Giant has designated $35,500 in microgrants, ranging in support level, to 16 organizations supporting the Ward 8 community with nutrition knowledge, access to healthy food, financial literacy, and healthy living. The Ward 8 Healthy Living Microgrant Program is an extension of Giant's ongoing efforts to address health and wellness challenges in Ward 8.
The recipients were selected through an application process and chosen by a formal committee at Giant, led by Giant's dedicated Ward 8 Nutritionist. The microgrants will be used by the organizations to further their efforts to educate around health and wellness through hosting classes, workshops, and programs, and cover necessary funding for needed materials to make their goals a reality.
Recipients of the micro-grants include Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics, and Agriculture (WANDA), Ward 8 Education Council, FRESHFARM, Mamatoto Village, Family & Friends of Incarcerated People, Everybody's Juice, Community College Preparatory Academy PCS, HEART (Health Equity & Anti-Racism Team) of the DC Chapter of the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association), ATEF FIT LLC, Black Xcellence Prep, Seasoned Settlers, SoBelt, Anacostia AMP Outreach Empowerment Center, Egyptami Wellness, The Wright Family Foundation and The Kitchen Physician.
The recipients were selected through an application process and chosen by a formal committee at Giant, led by Giant's dedicated Ward 8 Nutritionist. The microgrants will be used by the organizations to further their efforts to educate around health and wellness through hosting classes, workshops, and programs, and cover necessary funding for needed materials to make their goals a reality. The outline of the program is to support healthy living in the communities of Ward 8. Ward 8 of Washington, D.C. has the highest rates of poverty, and obesity which has led to the highest rates of chronic disease. There is only two full-time grocery stores in Ward 8, which houses just under 80,000 citizens.
Last year was the first year that Giant did the Ward 8 Microgrant program. The organizations that received grants used the funds to support health and wellness programs. It was such a success that Giant will be repeating the program this year and the same organizations and new charities apply for a grant.
“With Giant’s presence as one of only two full-service grocery stores in the Ward 8 community, we know we have a responsibility to the community to serve as a partner in helping to improve the health and wellbeing of its residents,” said Lisa Coleman, Giant Food Director of Healthy Living Team. “I’m glad Giant can partner with some of the real movers and shakers in Ward 8 who understand the needs of the community and are truly making a difference through the work of their organizations. I look forward to us reaching even more individuals and families throughout the ward through the selected programs of the microgrant recipients."
“WANDA is proud to be a recipient of the Giant Ward 8 Healthy Living Microgrant,” said Tambra Stevenson, MPH, Founder and CEO of WANDA. “The generous support from Giant demonstrates its commitment to investing in our communities by empowering everyday food ‘sheroes’ and strengthening the power of sisterhood and self-care around kitchen tables that can pivot their health and wellness and their families.”