The American Heart Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) are pleased to announce 17 community health mini-grant awardees, totaling nearly $100,000. These community organizations and companies will be working to improve heart health among North Carolinians who are most at risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Mini-grant projects include focusing on access to food, access to care, hypertension screenings and management, diabetes screenings, and social determinants of health. The mini-grants will benefit underserved youth, women, families, patients, and faith-based and Hispanic/Latino communities.

Community partners in the Triangle (Wake, Durham, and Orange counties), Triad (Guilford and Forsyth counties), and Charlotte (Mecklenburg, Gaston, and Union counties) were encouraged to apply for mini-grants ranging from $2,500 - $10,000 to support heart healthy policies and environments, and programs providing support for community coronavirus relief. The American Heart Association received 115 applications totaling over $967,000. The applications were vetted through American Heart Association volunteer committees and evaluated on specific criteria meeting community needs in underserved populations. Grantees were asked to show how their applications would reach under-resourced communities and were linked to sustainable policy and systems changes.

“It is very exciting to continue our efforts with Blue Cross NC to address health equity issues in our communities and to offer community mini-grants to bolster existing programs or inspire new programs throughout North Carolina,” shared Shannon Emmanuel, vice president of health strategies for the American Heart Association, Southeast. “Together we are working to build sustainable change to improve the health of our communities.” 

“Blue Cross NC is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians, especially members of communities in under-resourced areas,” said Cheryl Parquet, director of community engagement and marketing activation at Blue Cross NC. “We’re proud to work with partners to lead the charge in creating a healthier state and support organizations dedicated to advancing health equity.”

Community health mini-grant awardees include:


  • The Heights Community Development Center: Generational Health in the Community, food security & hypertension management
  • Care Ring: Heart Health Initiative, hypertension management
  • Wingate University: Promoting Heart Health and Addressing Food Insecurity in Rural Eastern Union County, additional farmers market
  • Grier Heights Presbyterian Church: Grier Heights Fresh Food Express, food security
  • Uptown Farmers Market: Shuttle Service for Seniors from Affordable Housing Communities, transportation and food security


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing Mobile Health Clinic:  Addressing food insecurity and ASCVD risk assessment to improve health, self-management support and CVD outcomes
  • Alliance Medical Ministry: Social Determinants of Health screening and food access 
  • Iglesia La Semilla :  "La Alacena Comunitaria de Durham" (Durham's Community Pantry)  
  • Black Farmers Market: Double Bucks Program 
  • PORCH Hillsborough:  Cold food storage to increase capacity for community hunger relief 


  • Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS)- Public Health Division and Greensboro Housing Coalition/Cottage Grove Collaborative: Establish SMBP and diabetes screening initiative  
  • Neighborhood Markets Inc.: Double Dollar SNAP program  
  • H.O.P.E. Neighborhood Market: SNAP and food security screenings  
  • Association of North Carolina Boards of Health: Establish SMBP and wellness initiative to reduce high blood pressure  
  • United Health Centers: Food security screenings and food pharmacy program to increase access to healthy foods utilizing an innovative approach 
  • Out of the Garden Project: Food security screening to increase access to healthy foods for low-income families

This is the third round of community health mini-grants awarded through the American Heart Association and Blue Cross NC initiative with 48 community health mini-grants awarded for nearly $200,000 since 2020.