Sept. 19, 2022

More than half a million dollars to be awarded annually to four cities with African American mayors to promote nutrition access, affordability, and education

Washington, D.C. – As part of a new partnership between the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) and the American Beverage Association Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA), four cities with African American mayors will receive significant grants to advance essential programs that improve community health. Mayors will be able to apply the funds towards vital resources such as community gardens, mobile veggie and fruit stands and food security programs, and attract additional investments for the nutrition issues their cities are facing.

One-third of America’s biggest cities are led by African American mayors, leaders who best understand what their communities need and how to achieve results.

“Nutrition access, affordability, and education are at the root of health disparities throughout the country. The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the health inequities that many African Americans have been struggling with for years and it’s urgent that we take collective action to address the gap,” said Phyllis Dickerson, CEO of AAMA. “AAMA is on the frontlines of battling these inequities and our mayors are working tirelessly to improve access to affordable, nutritious foods and provide nutrition education so families can make informed choices.”

ABFHA and AAMA will award four grants totaling $525,000 annually over a three-year period to four cities. One $200,000 grant will be awarded to a large-sized city with a population of 250,000 or more. Two grants of $125,000 each will be given to mid-sized cities with populations between 100,000 and 250,000, and one grant of $75,000 will be awarded to a small-sized city.

Funds from the program will go directly toward city programs that demonstrate measurable progress in increasing access to affordable basic nutrition needs, educational components that help market the program to a mayor’s community, provide community outreach or help educate citizens about the benefits of the program and towards programs with an initial investment that will attract matching grants or other investment dollars.

“I am grateful to the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America as it partners with AAMA to assist cities in improving health outcomes,” AAMA President and Mayor of Little Rock, AR Frank Scott, Jr. said. “Mayors and government should be the catalyst to jumpstart programs that reduce disparity, advance a better quality of life for the most vulnerable among us and spur on additional investments to further enhance access, increase affordability, and ensure communities have the knowledge to make informed decisions. This grant program also has potential to have far-reaching impact. As we know, data show that improving health outcomes positively affects other important issues such as education and crime. I look forward to celebrating our winning mayors and cities.”

As we know, data shows America’s beverage companies have a proven track record of taking bold actions in support of communities. In 2006 the beverage industry voluntarily removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools, leading to a 94% reduction in beverage calories in schools. The beverage industry’s product innovation and calorie awareness campaigns are driving a consumer shift toward more low- and zero sugar beverages. Today, nearly 60% of beverages purchased are zero sugar.

“Mayors know best the needs of their communities and how to achieve real results that improve peoples’ lives,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of American Beverage. “We are thrilled to be partnering with these leaders on programs that will bring positive changes to their communities and will support families in their efforts to lead healthy, balanced lifestyles.”

Grant winners will be selected by a panel of judges composed of former mayors chosen by AAMA. The winning cities will be announced at the April 2023 AAMA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.


Media Contacts

Kuae Noel Kelch, Mercury

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