2015 grants awarded

In 2015, grants were awarded to 59 organizations in Minnesota and western Wisconsin to support activities that promote social connections and increases in healthy behavior. The 2015 Neighborhood Health Connection activities were:

Organization  Name Summary of activity
Annandale Youth First, Inc. Families will reduce stress and increase physical activity by attending free twice-weekly T’ai Chi and yoga classes at the Annandale City Park Beach. Also, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator is leading a Healthy Cooking and Diabetes Support group for adults at the Marketplace in Annandale. Participants will have the opportunity to sample and learn to cook foods that help them manage their diabetes.
Augustana Care Augustana Care Open Circle of Heritage Park will bring together a group of at least 20 caregivers and their care recipients (20) with dementia for eight tai chi classes and fellowship. These classes will be offered in partnership with and held at the YMCA of Heritage Park in Minneapolis. The caregivers are largely home-based individuals, 55 or older, and caring for a person who has dementia. They are primarily Caucasian or African American.
Buffalo Community Center Patrons of the Buffalo Community Center will assist with planting and maintaining a vertical garden with herbs and vegetables. The produce will be distributed to and used to supplement the diets of our community center patrons – mainly senior citizens.
Cambridge Christian School Early Childhood Center Two groups of Cambridge parents of children with special needs will meet monthly at the Cambridge Christian School Early Childhood Center. The first will support each other, share parenting victories and challenges, receive guidance, and learn new techniques.  The second will learn about healthy family outdoor activities and how to bring the outdoors inside when the weather is uncooperative.
Cambridge Isanti Early Childhood Program Early Childhood Program staff in the Cambridge Isanti Early Childhood Program will be provided with pedometers, water bottles, and resources for wellness. We will walk together at least 6 times using the community trails. We will also have a kick off and ending wellness event.
Centro Campesino Centro Campesino will host a series of cooking sessions in which the Latino families will learn to cook healthy traditional meals.  Each class will consist of  learning new ways to live a healthier lifestyle and the importance of staying healthy. The Cocinas Sanas – Vidas Sanas is a 15-20 participants project that will be a 9-month curriculum. The curriculum will provide important and culturally relevant education to the Latino communities in Southern Minnesota.
City of Cambridge Residents of the Heritage Greens neighborhood, as well as any Cambridge resident, will be invited to participate in a free weekly yoga class in Central Green Park.
City of South St. Paul For 10 weeks, starting on July 8th, 20 residents from the Nan McKay and John Carroll High-rise buildings will engage in an afternoon of Fresh Food, Fitness and Fun including a trip to the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market in South St. Paul. 
CommonBond Communities Residents in two urban high-rise buildings will have the opportunity to join neighbors in walks through the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis and along the Mississippi River.  Water bottles, snacks, pedometers, and a limited number of tennis shoes will be provided.
Early Childhood Family Education Buffalo Hanover Montrose Schools 25 English learning and/or high need parents will receive healthy nutrition and exercise education and walk with pedometers or do yoga exercise during ECFE Family Literacy or Circle of Parent classes. The classes are held in Buffalo Hanover Montrose School classrooms.  ECFE teachers will teach the activities and a trained professional will provide the nutrition and exercise education and have a Spanish interpreter for Latino parents.
Ecumen North Branch Residents at a Senior Living Campus in North Branch will do gardening in raised flower bed and some will enjoy doing this in the shade under an awning. The activity will take place in our nursing home, assisted living and memory care wings. The residents will enjoy the food they have grown towards the end of the year.
Ellsworth Senior Center Ellsworth seniors will be provided with pedometers and will walk together in a weekly group.  In addition, group chair exercise sessions with a personal trainer will be offered two days a week.  Seniors will be encouraged to stay after class for socialization.
Emma B. Howe YMCA The Emma B. Howe YMCA in Coon Rapids will offer organized group exercise to older adults at community sites where access to these services may be limited. Class formats will vary from low impact cardio movements, muscle conditioning exercises and building better balance and flexibility. Healthy snacks and nutrition discussion will follow class.
Esperanza Woman between the ages of 25-50 gather at New Creation Lutheran Church in Shakopee to play and practice soccer under a coach's instruction and supervision.
Episcopal Church of the Nativity Parishioners, community members , and neighbors who garden in the community garden, will be offered a class at the Community Café meal on Wednesday evening. These classes will alternate with evenings of gardening instruction. All activities will be held at Nativity Episcopal Church in Burnsville.
Faith Lutheran Church Faith’s Garden of Sharing is a community garden in Coon Rapids involving people of all ages, especially families. Community gardeners will gather to care for, harvest and donate garden produce for community outreach, such as food shelves, dinners, and a youth micro-business.
Faribault Youth Services Center (DBA So How Are the Children) Families who live in Faribault’s central neighborhoods will connect with existing resources that provide free meals and recreational opportunities as a way to promote strong relationships among neighbors in our downtown area.
Friends of Way Park This series of six yoga classes will meet every other Saturday morning in Northfield's Way Park. The classes are open to all, accessible to any age and level of expertise, and designed to help neighbors meet and spend time together in a healthy, active way.
Good Samaritan Society - Winthrop The Residents of the Lodge and GSS Winthrop will participate in Art Therapy, Music Therapy, and Chair Yoga.  New exercise equipment will be purchased to promote group activities.
GracePointe Crossing - The Commons Our independent living senior residents will be provided 4 healthy cooking classes at Mill Ridge Terrace and 4 healthy cooking classes at the Heritage Center in Cambridge.
Have a Heart, Inc. Have A Heart, Inc., located in River Falls, has three raised garden beds that have often been ignored due to the limited time our staff has to devote to gardening. With the help of the Master's Gardeners' club, our wheelchair bound clients will be able to plant, weed, water, and harvest the produce as well as make salsa and have fresh vegetables with their meals.
HealthFinders Collaborative, Inc. Pura Vida Healthy Lifestyles program encourages participants to take control of their health by collaborating in their context to provide tools, skills, and motivation needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Across Rice County, the program facilitates exercise, nutrition, stress management and community engagement, in safe and trusted community settings. 
Hillcrest Elementary Ellsworth School District Staff Members at Hillcrest Elementary in Ellsworth, WI will receive FitBits and will meet once a week for a class lead by C.J. Young.
I.C.C.O.A. (Board) The Cambridge senior population will enrich their lives by engaging in wellness walking, early morning stretch and Qigong. These activities will take place at the Center by participating in 40 minutes of walking, 1 hour of low impact stretching exercises and 1 hour body movement, all conducted by a trained instructor.
ICA Food Shelf Neighborhood residents and community members will have opportunities to join cooking gatherings, bike maintenance classes, and swimming lessons in Hopkins.
Isanti County Master Gardeners The Isanti County Master Gardeners, a local volunteer unit of the UMN Extension, will increase neighborhood gardening activities. This will include expanding activities at the Cambridge Community Garden, enhancing first-time gardening experiences in the family oriented Junior Master Gardener program, and expanding the Master Gardener cadre.
ISD 885 St. Michael-Albertville School District Staff members of Fieldstone Elementary in St. Michael, ISD #885, will be provided with equipment (such as videos, mats and weights) so they can exercise together with the group which will meet daily after school hours.  Exercise class will take place in the Music Room
Journey House Campus Ministry The “Steps, Strikes & Snacks” program will provide an opportunity for the University of Wisconsin – River Falls community to experience fitness, fun & friendship.  Participants will track daily steps using pedometers, participate in bowling teams and receive healthy snacks. Prizes will be given to the top four scores at the end of the program. 
Kids at the Beach and Outreach, Inc. A preschool and caretaker health class through Kids at the Beach, a community day camp that provides lake recreation activities on Lake Fanny in Isanti County at no cost. Activities include swimming, kayaking, group and individual games, arts and crafts, fishing, horseback riding, lunch and afternoon snack. .
Kids Connection Kids Connection families will grow produce at the New Ulm Community Garden and host and learn the value of a farmers market over the course of the summer. Kids Connection will also provide a family fun night at the community garden, a family picnic and weekly family farmers market.
Lee Carlson Center/Bridgeview Bridgeview members and staff will be participating in twice monthly beginners yoga/breathing sessions taught by a professional yoga instructor.  Classes will be held at The ‘nMotion Dance Center, next to our Fridley clinic.  Outside chefs will also be teaching healthy cooking classes at a local church, beginning in August. These participatory classes will be held monthly and will most like be held at Faith Lutheran Church.  Participants are Anoka County adults who live with a diagnosis of serious and persistent mental illness
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Adults 60+ will enjoy a free, nutritiously balanced and delicious meal at Senior Nutrition meal sites in New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, and Fairfax, while participating in monthly healthy living/eating presentations.
Lyndale Neighborhood Association Women from the Latina cohort of the Women’s Leadership Program will go on urban hikes together throughout the Twin Cities that feature accessible green space for them and their families, such as Minnehaha Falls, Lake Harriet, and wildlife sanctuaries.  They will also complete a cooking course that focuses on healthy eating on a budget through the Cooking Matters extension course which will take place at Zion Church in the Lyndale neighborhood.
Maple Grove Lutheran Church Members of our Maple Grove church maintain and harvest vegetables from a garden on the church grounds. Produce (averaging 3,000 lb. per season) goes to the CROSS food shelf in Rogers, for a seniors group that meets in the church, and to congregants. The goal this year is to cut city water use with a rainwater-collection system.
Minneapolis High-rise Representative Council Minneapolis public housing high-rise residents will be assisted to form walking clubs and will be provided with t-shirts, water bottles and winter walking cleats.  Weekly walks will be planned in the immediate neighborhood of the various high-rises.
New Ulm Park & Recreation Residents of New Ulm will be able to participate in many free outdoor activities such as group exercise classes, nature walks, athletic activities, and more.  Activities will take place in our multiple city parks with the intention of reaching all segments of the population of New Ulm.
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative The Greenvale Park Community School in Northfield will host 25 evening Neighborhood Health Connection activities for neighborhood families on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from August-December, 2015. Each session will include an interactive workshop focused on healthy eating and/or physical activity, followed by intentional time for conversing and connecting with other families
Opening Doors Program-Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools Community Education Adults with disabilities in Northwest Minnesota will learn menu planning and hands on cooking techniques in 6-10 Cooking Club sessions.
Opportunity Neighborhood The project will provide 12 healthy community dinners to residents at two low-income housing complexes in New Brighton. In partnership with the U of M’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, each event will provide an opportunity for residents to build social connections with one another while they participate in nutritional education sessions.
Our Saviour's Community Services Our Saviour’s Housing’s clients (those experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis) will be offered holistic opportunities to address and focus on their physical, social, and mental health. They will be offered a variety of onsite activities at least three times per week (i.e. gardening, healthy cooking classes, massage, support group, yoga, meditation class, etc.).
Parish of Saints Joachim and Anne Shakopee seniors, in conjunction with other parishioners, will create and maintain a community garden. Food will be shared with Loaves and Fishes—a nonprofit meal program in Minnesota.
Parkside Elementary School Students and their families will meet at the Buffalo Parkside Elementary gym in morning and evening sessions to play, be active, and engage with other families twice a month. 
Pillsbury United Communities Somali women living in Minneapolis's Cedar Riverside neighborhood will participate in cooking/nutrition classes, where they will work with a Somali chef to learn how to prepare traditional Somali food in ways that are more healthy and nutritious. Classes will occur weekly and take place in the commercial kitchen at the Brian Coyle Community Center. 
Presidents Council of St. Paul PHA Hi-Rises Saint Paul Public Housing Agency (PHA) residents will be provided with nutrition education classes through the University Extension Programs:  Cooking Matters, exercise classes through the YWCA, subsidies to participate in a vegetable CSA program through the Hmong American Farmer’s Association, community gardening support from Gardening Matters, and gardening supplies.   The activities will take place in the PHA’s public housing sites located throughout Saint Paul.
Pro Kinship for Kids Families of Pro Kinship for Kids in New Ulm will be involved in healthy cooking/food science classes and making a recipe book; physical activities like swimming, being outside doing healthy activities like fishing, and some open gym time on at least a monthly basis.
Public Health Alliance of Bloomington, Edina and Richfield This project focuses on creating culturally appropriate physical activity classes for youth and adult females during fall and winter 2015 sessions at the Bloomington and Richfield School facilities. This program serves Somali women and children living in Bloomington, Richfield and Edina who cannot be active due to cultural and limitations. 
River Falls Community Education Preschool Open Gym will provide a time for parents and young children to participant in activities that encourage physical fitness and will also provide networking opportunities for parents.   This activity is for children 0 to 5 and their parents and will take place in the River Falls Meyer Middle School multipurpose room.
River Falls Community Education The Early Morning Walking program provides a safe, indoor facility for participants to improve their health by walking.  This program is open to all, but we expect mostly senior citizens.  This will take place in the River Falls high school gym.
Shakopee Diversity Alliance A group of 24 Somali women will be provided with physical training and swimming classes in Shakopee. The program runs July through December, 2015.
South Central Human Relations Center A "Cooking Matters" class for adults with mental health needs to learn how to cook nutritious meals on a budget and improving independent living skills (led by Chef Jorge) This class will meet for two hours once a week for 6 weeks at the Owatonna Hy-Vee grocery store (kitchen area).
Tatanka Elementary School Students and parents of students will be participating in a variety physical activities from 6:30-7:30 once a month in the Tatanka Elementary School gym.
The Refuge network, A Program of Family Pathways Our hope is to achieve a new found sense of peace for our clients, both women and children, by allowing them to help maintain, pick, clean and use or cook the fruits of their labor by planting a vegetable garden on the premises of our Black Dog Hill Shelter in North Branch.  A representative from the U of MN extension office will come to our facility to teach classes to our clients on healthy living.
Transition Longfellow Residents of the greater Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis will gather twice a week for mindful walking and yoga in the park. The yoga will be offered on Saturday mornings  at Longfellow Park. The walking group will start at different locations and walk through a different part of the neighborhood each week. The yoga is for people of all abilities, and people can join at any time. It is free to Minneapolis residents, and all neighborhood residents are invited.  Information about starting times and locations will be posted at transitionlongfellow.org.
United Way of Steele County Between 15 and 20 Somali women of all ages will come together twice a week for six weeks to attend a special, gender-segregated Zumba class at Owatonna Fit Lab in downtown Owatonna. This will allow them a comfortable environment to be healthy and active and to learn from one another. 
Valley Friendship Club Partnering with nonprofits – Valley Outreach, Ascension Church and Community Thread, along with Wahoo Adventure –  to bring Young Adults with disabilities six weeks of hands-on healthy nutrition and active living classes including visits to local markets and farms and hiking and snowshoeing in local parks in Stillwater.
Westside Elementary At this women-only event, participants will have the opportunity to prepare make-ahead meals for their family at Westside Elementary in Hudson, WI.  At each session, women will package 4 freezer meals that incorporate fresh ingredients including lean meats, vegetables, and wholesome grains.
Wright County Historical Society The Wright County Historical Society, in partnership with the Local Roots Food Coop, will provide six free family-oriented and history-related workshops on how eating styles have change over the years, growing and using herbs, historic outdoor games, unplugged activities, the history and use of spices to enhance foods, and a tour of a local organic farm.
YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, Hudson  Residents of River Falls aged 60+ are eligible to participate in "Eat, Move & Live Well" which is a 12-week class led by a Certified Lifestyle Coach employed by the YMCA. The small group classes focus on improving health habits such as physical activity, nutrition, stress management, fall risk prevention, etc.