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Funding Support for Current Issues


On this page are foundations with specific foci as identified below. You can find general information here and more details in the documents linked at the bottom of the page. For further assistance, contact Foundation Relations.

Foundation Focus: Health & Nutrition

About the Foundation What You Should Know Recent Grants

Allen Foundation

The Allen Foundation is a Michigan-based foundation with general interests in nutritional research and the connections between diet and health.

Research/project work might include:

  • nutrition research to address lead contamination 
  • training of pregnant mothers who may have been exposed to contaminated water
  •  support for training of educators and others regarding good nutritional practices to share with families

The Foundation is interested in work that benefits nutritional programs in education, training and research.

The foundation allows research projects that are pre-clinical or translational using animal models, as well as human/clinical studies.

Michigan State University Extension, Nutrition Education $53,100 (2015)

Michigan State University Extension, Mother to Mother $67,886 (2015)

C.S. Mott Foundation

The Mott Foundation is a national funder based in Flint with strong grantmaking commitments to the city and deep relationships across the community – and the university’s Flint campus and Ann Arbor leadership. Mott’s national efforts focus on building strong economic, environmental and social conditions for a sustainable future.

The UM team should collaborate with other, community-based organizations to further the foundation’s mission (this can include technical assistance and perhaps collaborative research with small organizations) and produce practical, results-driven outcomes.


Fair Food Network, Double Up Bucks - This grant will provide ongoing support to the Fair Food Network's Double Up Food Bucks Project at the Flint Farmers' Market. The project provides supplemental nutrition assistance program recipients with incentives to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets and vegetable stands in Michigan.  $150,000 (2014)

Gerber Foundation 

The Gerber Foundation, located in Fremont, Michigan, has general interests in nutrition and/or health-related research. Research and programming focus on

  • pediatric health
  • pediatric nutrition
  • environmental hazards

The Gerber Foundation receives grant proposals both through unsolicited sources as well as from organizations. The Foundation’s preference is that there is some subsequent communication between the grant applicant and program staff as the grant proposal is developed.  

University of Michigan -Study to evaluate the effects of prenatal non-essential heavy metal exposure on hearing  - $138,314 (2014)

St. Francis Health - -Assessment of pesticide exposure in pregnancy on DNA imprinting $295,082 (2014)

Ruth Mott Foundation

On February 24, 2016, the Ruth Mott Foundation dedicated $1 million in funding to address the Flint water crisis. The funding is directed toward short term and long term needs of Flint’s children and adults exposed to lead.

Research/project work might include:

  • interventions that help to ameliorate lead exposure of children such as early childhood 
  • healthy food and nutrition education and training
  • early based literacy programs
  • child-well support programs
  • promotion of breastfeeding support and training


Flint Water Crisis Funding projects should address short and long term needs of residents’ lead exposure. The projects should align with the RMF mission, vision and values.  RMF is also interested in the involvement of local partners and U-M Flint in projects. 



University of Michigan – Flint Physical Therapy , PT Heart 2014, PI Shandowyn  Parker and James Crep,   $19,105 (2014)

University of Michigan – Flint University Outreach, Healthy Schoolyards, PI Gerard Voland, $49,175 (2013)

University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Father and Sons, PI Cleo Caldwell, $74,726 (2012)


W.K. Kellogg Foundation

 General Kellogg interests include Race and Equity with program focus on, among others:

  • access to sustainable healthy and affordable food
  • healthy birth weights
  • encouraging active lifestyles

The foundation prefers community-based approaches to problem solving. Work in communities should involve community partners and empower residents. 

Be explicit regarding the populations you are serving. Put the key demographic in the title of your grant, e.g. “Latino Youth,” “Flint families,” “Flint’s poorest residents in its northern neighborhoods.” 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Increase prenatal, perinatal and postnatal best practices for breastfeeding success among racial and ethnic minorities by scaling-up proven programs and recruiting minority groups into training with national coordination $300,000 (2015) 

University of Michigan, School of Public Health -Assess the impact and share lessons from across sites how equitable sustainable change in food and active living environments is happening in communities across the nation, particularly for children and families  $1,000,000 (2012) 

Michigan Health Endowment Fund

The general purpose of  the fund is to improve the quality of healthcare while reducing costs and to benefit the health and wellness of children and seniors  throughout the state.

Faculty interested in this funder may want to consider projects in these domains:

  • Nutrition- interventions might include nutritional education and program evaluations and impact; training for caregivers
  • Early childhood- possible interventions could include early child behavioral screenings and services; child wellbeing and toxic stress evaluations; professional development, technical assistance  and training for early caregivers. 
Application: contact Maureen Martin in Foundation Relations.
MHEF would entertain proposals specific to Flint that align with MHEF’s current focus and those identified by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and that support MHEF's mission, such as access to infant and child behavioral health services, nutrition education,  healthy food access, integrated care services and early childhood development interventions from a health perspective. 

Greater Flint Health Coalition, $97,500 (2016)

United Way for Southeastern Michigan, to assist with the Detroit water bill payment crisis, $2,000,000 (2014)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RWJ is interested in projects on: 

  • Child/family well-being – interventions in early trauma or early toxic stress and family support.
  • Community health - interventions that inform or promote local policies, conditions or practices that support healthy lifestyles such as after-school activities, child care, and other support for families.

Call for proposals

  • Look for work with national implications in policy and behavior. RWJ will have a friendly ear for the larger intellectual and justice framing.
  • Outcomes – Clearly articulate what your work will actually achieve and how it will help others achieve more.
  • Building Evidence – The foundation knows how it wants to measure a Culture of Health. They want to use your work to build evidence and momentum to support that vision. 
  • University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nutrition Policy Institute - Developing, validating, and feasibility testing a cost-effective photo-evidence method to assess effectiveness of access to drinking water in schools.  $190,000 (2016)
  • University of Kansas Center for Research - Identifying and understanding benchmarks of success in achieving measurable community health improvement.   $276,000.00  (2016)