AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $197,772 grant to Sustainable Food Center

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $197,772 to Sustainable Food Center in support of the Cultivating Healthy Communities initiative. This is the third consecutive year in which Sustainable Food Center has received a grant from the Foundation, totaling $550,337.

Cultivating Healthy Communities promotes cardiovascular health, sustainable foods, healthy nutrition and the prevention of obesity in children and families living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. These residents lack access to affordable, healthy foods and nutrition literacy.

With the assistance of funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) has reached more than 250,000 individuals through comprehensive work in food systems in 2012 alone, including over 12,000 individuals growing more fruits and vegetables because of access to SFC’s Grow Local gardening classes and free gardening supplies. Nearly 40,000 students enjoyed increased access to healthy, local foods while increasing their nutrition literacy through the Sprouting Healthy Kids farm-to-school and food-systems education project.

“Grow Local” helps children and their families start and sustain school, community and backyard gardens, providing free basic organic gardening classes in both English and Spanish, while training neighborhood leaders to begin and sustain community and school gardens.

"Sustainable Food Center’s Cultivating Healthy Communities program enables communities to address their own cardiovascular health issues," said Andrew Smiley, Deputy Director, Sustainable Food Center. "We identify community leaders, organize wellness leadership teams, and provide the teams with options for food-systems programming based on their own interests and assets. SFC then provides training, support, and resources for the leaders in all aspects of our comprehensive food-systems programming. This year, 300,000 individuals in Austin will grow, share, and prepare healthy, local food because of Sustainable Food Center’s efforts."

“Cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation’s No. 1 killer, which is why we must work to decrease the risks of this devastating disease," said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, FACC chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. "The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is proud to provide funding to innovative, grassroots programs like Sustainable Food Center’s Cultivating Healthy Communities, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community."

The Connections for Cardiovascular Health program awards grants of $150,000 and up to US-based non-profit organizations that are doing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health. This year, the Foundation has awarded more than $4.4 million in grants to 22 organizations. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $11 million across the United States to help improve cardiovascular health.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, 2013.

About Sustainable Food Center

SFC cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Visit

About the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Established in 1993, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is a Delaware not-for-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3) entity organized for charitable purposes including to promote public awareness of healthcare issues, to promote public education of medical knowledge and to support or contribute to charitable and qualified exempt organizations consistent with its charitable purpose. Connections for Cardiovascular Health was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.

Media Inquiries

AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Media Line 302-885-2677
Susan Leibrock, Sustainable Food Center 512-236-0074 ext. x111