March 18, 2015
Contact: Annette Triplet
PedNet Coalition Accepts Missouri Foundation for Health General Support for Advocacy Grant
Columbia, MO: In October of 2014, we were awarded the General Support for Advocacy (GSA) grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) for $150,000 over a two year period. These funds are unrestricted and allow us to attend to health advocacy efforts as they arise. The target population for this grant, according to MFH, is “the uninsured, underinsured and underserved in Missouri.”
Our focus when applying for the MFH GSA grant was to advocate for change in three key areas with the greatest potential to increase daily physical activity and improve the health of underserved and vulnerable individuals:
(1) Improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety
a. Research and experience show that people will bike and walk when the infrastructure exists to make it safe and enjoyable, such as bike lanes, safe intersections and a connected network of sidewalks and trails.
(2) Increase Safe Routes to School funding for underserved schools
a. The need to get to school every day provides an incredibly valuable opportunity to integrate daily physical activity into every child’s life.
(3) Improve public transit service and usability
a. Public transit is a key component of active transportation because public transit users walk and bike to and from their transit stops. However, in Missouri and in many communities nationwide, public transit service is inadequate, especially for low-income, vulnerable individuals who don’t own a vehicle. PedNet advocates for greater funding and smarter design for public transit so that the service can be widely used and relied upon.