AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $209,800 grant to The Food Trust

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $209,800 to The Food Trust to support its Healthy Corner Store Network Heart Smarts program.

This community-based project in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods will develop new prevention-based services as part of The Food Trust’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative, with the goal of reducing modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The program seeks to accomplish this through corner store-based education focused on good nutrition and healthy behaviors, increased access to affordable, nutritious food, new policy measures to curb tobacco use, and the piloting of an innovative model to integrate free health screenings in healthy corner stores with a health referral process for at-risk adults.

“We're thrilled to be working with the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation and its Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program to improve the health of Philadelphians,” said Yael Lehmann, executive director, The Food Trust. “Through our Healthy Corner Store Initiative, The Food Trust works to improve access to healthy food in corner stores. With this grant and in partnership with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Center for Urban Health, we will be able to offer free screenings for blood pressure and stroke risk, along with other education and activities to help people make healthy choices and reduce their risk of heart disease.”

Philadelphia is the poorest of the nation’s 10 largest cities based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.1 And heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death, respectively, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.2 About 23,000 Philadelphians have died of these diseases in the past five years.3 In 2010, 66 percent of adults and 41 percent of children were overweight or obese.Other major risk factors for cardiovascular disease include smoking (one in four adults) and hypertension (one in three adults).5 The grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation will support The Food Trust’s efforts to reverse these sobering health statistics.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like The Food Trust are creating innovative programs to help prevent and decrease the associated risks with this devastating disease,” said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, FACC, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “We are grateful to The Food Trust for its commitment to improving heart health in their community.”

The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program annually awards grants of $150,000 or more to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to working to improve cardiovascular health in local communities. This year, the program awarded nearly $3.7 million in grants to 19 organizations. More than $14 million in grants have been awarded through the program since its inception in 2010.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSMgrant at Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014.

About The Food Trust

The Food Trust, a nonprofit founded in 1992, strives to make healthy food available to all. Working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers, The Food Trust has developed a comprehensive approach that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food. Learn more at

About 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 HealthSM was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.

Media Inquiries

Public Communicatons Inc Colleen O'Donnell or Sky Oplia 312-558-1770
The Food Trust Ryanne Jennings 215-575-0444 ext. 188

1. U.S. Census Bureau. Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months. 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Retrieved from:
2. Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Vital Statistics Report - Philadelphia: 2010. 2010. Retrieved from:
3. Ibid.
4. Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Overview of Chronic Disease and Healthy Eating and Active Living Indicators for Philadelphia Adults and Children. 2011. Retrieved from: and chronic disease health indicators_2010.pdf.
5. Ibid.