OVERVIEW: The Allen Foundation focuses on nutrition education, training and research, prioritizing “the connections between diet and health.”
IP TAKE: This foundation is wholly committed to healthy nutritional practices, and educating/empowering individuals to make them. There are interesting opportunities here if nutritional health is your program’s emphasis.
PROFILE: The Allen Foundation was established in 1975 by William Webster Allen, an agricultural chemist. In alignment with his profession, the Allen Foundation is focused on “human nutrition,” and distributes grants with that focus in the arenas of education, training and research. This boils down to support of programs that prioritize “the connections between diet and health.”
In the schema of public health and wellness, the foundation’s emphases on nutritional education and nutritional training are most relevant. In terms of education, the Allen Foundation seeks to “encourage the dissemination of information regarding healthful nutritional practices and habits.” It also places emphasis on maternal/pre-natal and early childhood nutrition.
In terms of training, the foundation seeks to assist people “to work as educators and demonstrators of good nutritional practices.”
Across all of its focus areas, the foundation makes a point of stating that it is especially interested in “the promotion of environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsive, and sustainable food and agricultural systems.” But they will not fund seminars, conferences or panels.
Nevertheless, this leaves open a wide array of programmatic opportunities. And Allen says it will support “immediate emergency hunger and malnutrition problems” in limited situations.
The foundation grants not only across the U.S., but internationally as well, though its giving history does show a preference to Allen’s home state of Michigan. In 2015, this included 21 grants in nutrition education and training (including farm-to-family projects), a garden built and sustained by underserved inner-city youth, and a mother-to-mother peer breastfeeding program.
Recent nutrition grantees working on public health and wellness issues include:
- $75,000 to Brighter Bites (Houston, TX)
- $68,478 to Project Peanut Butter (Maplewood, MO)
- $22,726 to The Nutrition Center (Pittsfield, MA)
- $20,000 to Grow Benzie (Benzonia, MI)
- $19,251 to the Frankenmuth Farmers Market (Frankenmuth, MI)
- $15,000 to City Youth Now (San Francisco, CA).
The Allen Foundation accepts one-year as well as multiyear requests up to three years. It has an open, online application process with a December deadline.
Mark Ostahowski, M.D., President
Gail Lanphear, Board Chair