Healthy Starkville grant application deadline Tuesday

The Healthy Starkville Committee has announced details of $25,000 in cash grants that will be used by community organizations to promote healthy activities and lifestyles in the city.

"Half of our total cash award from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation will go directly to area organizations. The purpose is to kick start healthy activities, programs and services in the greater Starkville area, including the Mississippi State campus. The greater goal is to change the health culture, attitudes and behaviors in our community to ensure long-term health," said Healthy Starkville chair Alyson Karges.

The application form is available on the group's website at

"We want to get the word out to as many individuals and organizations as possible that we are serious about supporting a healthy Starkville. Groups can begin crafting their applications and getting letters of partnership or support now," Karges said.

The organization is accepting grant applications via its website. The deadline for application is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012.

There are two levels of support. Approximately 20 cash grants will be awarded for smaller projects of $500 to $1,000.

"We are looking for innovative, high impact projects that either focus on an important health issue or addresses broad health behaviors in the community. We take a broad view when we speak of community, and we encourage applications from MSU student organizations, school-aged children in the area, and faith-based organizations," Karges said.

There will also be one large grant of up to $5,000 that is expected to have a major and long-lasting positive health impact on the community.

"Successful applications at both levels must demonstrate the need, how their project will address that need, partnerships and collaborates working with the applicant, how they will leverage or match the funding, how they will evaluate the impact and whether the change or improvement is sustainable," Karges said.

Each application must contain an evaluation component, explaining the effects the project had in the community relative to individual or community health. Two graduate assistants from Mississippi State University's Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will work directly with grantees to develop the evaluation tools and procedures. The graduate students are also being funded by the Healthy Starkville committee and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation award.

For additional information, contact Karges at

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