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Grant may help to improve Black infant health outcomes


Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles grant

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles has announced it has awarded a total of $1.1 million to seven local nonprofits seeking to improve Black maternal and infant health.

In citing its rationale behind the grants, the foundation said that due to what it called systemic inequities in the health system, Black mothers and infants in the United States and Los Angeles, in particular, die at more than double the rate of their White counterparts.

The funds directed through the grants will provide multi-year awards of up to $200,000 to community programs that improve Black maternal and infant health in three areas: direct access to prenatal and birthing services and care; advocacy efforts facilitating systemic change for better access to health resources, services, and benefits; and support to grassroots nonprofits and leaders on the frontlines of this work, according to the JCF.

“The data underlying racial disparities in maternal and infant death rates are staggering,” Rabbi Aaron B. Lerner, foundation president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

“The Foundation’s grants will provide essential care, support, and community resources. Healthier and more joyous births benefit everyone, and the outcomes of early intervention continue for decades. We are proud that our General Community Grants funding will positively impact the lives of more than 1,000 of our community’s newborns and their families.”

Past cycles of grants have focused on older adult poverty, education equity, homelessness, domestic and sexual violence, and human trafficking, among other areas. Over the past decade, the foundation has awarded nearly $6 million through this initiative.

The new General Community Grants recipients and their programs are:

— Black Women for Wellness, Advancing Black Maternal and Infant Health in Los Angeles;

— California Black Women’s Health Project, Maternal Health Ambassadors Program;

— CinnaMoms, Utilizing the CinnaMoms Model to Support Healthy and Joyous Birth Outcomes;

— Compton GIRLS Club, Black Young Mothers Support Program;

— Maternal Mental Health NOW, Mental Health Support for New and Expectant Parents;

— Mighty Little Giants Inc., Support for NICU Families; and

— Therapeutic Play Foundation Inc., Mommy Matters Program.