The state of babies, spicy peanut butter and medical grade thermometers

At A Glance is a bi-weekly news recap highlighting WKKF grantees, investments, communities and partnerships.

Every baby is born with unlimited potential, yet too many face challenges that affect their ability to reach it fully. That’s the mantra of WKKF grantee, Zero to Three– an organization dedicated to the healthy development of infants, toddlers and families – which recently released their State of Babies Yearbook 2020. Listen to Myra Jones-Taylor, Zero to Three’s chief policy officer, describe this resource comparing national and state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers prior to the pandemic. The Yearbook also puts a spotlight on the harmful effects of health inequities faced by mothers and babies of color- even before babies are born. Find out how your state measures up in putting babies and families first.

Speaking of babies, San Francisco launched the Abundant Birth Project last week– the first U.S. program of its kind to study the health and economic impacts of providing targeted basic income to Black and Pacific Islander women during pregnancy and six months after birth. Expecting Justice, an initiative supported by WKKF and led by the San Francisco Department of Health, is leading the pilot with the goal of improving maternal health and birth outcomes. Approximately 150 women will participate and receive an unconditional monthly income supplement of $1,000.

Cause Consumer ran an article featuring WKKF grantee Acceso as part of its series on small companies with big missions. Read about how Lavi Spicy Peanut Butter is supporting farmers and children in Haiti. Mild, medium or hot – every jar sold translates to a nutritious peanut-based snack for a child in Haiti.

In Mississippi, WKKF grantee 30 Day Fund is providing forgivable loans for state-based small businesses. The forgivable loan provides immediate financial assistance as small business owners reopen and navigate a new social and economic reality.  The Mississippi 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board and operations running in the near term.  Child care providers are eligible to apply for this forgivable loan. 

Another WKKF grantee, the North Mississippi Education Consortium, in collaboration with the Department of Human Services and the MS Shared Services Network, purchased 1,000 medical grade thermometers to screen children entering child care facilities daily. Thermometers were acquired through a shared services approach where quantity drives down pricing. Taking children’s temperature is one of the CDC’s guidelines for child care providers that remain open during the pandemic. Additional personal protective equipment will be available to child care providers through shared services thanks to the work of advocates in securing $3 million in state health resources. 

Since COVID-19 closed schools, organizations, businesses and kept many people home, WKKF grantee Common Market, working with many community partners,has supported 96 local farms, purchased and distributed 9.4 million pounds of food and delivered more than 900,000 individualized boxes of produce and dairy to communities across multiple states from New York to Texas. Check out their latest impact report, while also driving equity across the US food system.

In Mexico, grantee Mexican Center for Environmental Rights was the primary information source cited in a La Jornada report about an important federal court decision. In the name of environmental protection, the court has withdrawn authorization for Monsanto to make its transgenic soy commercially available in seven Mexican states. The planting of transgenic soy in southern Mexico has been associated with deforestation and spraying with highly toxic pesticides, leading to water contamination and the death of bees on which many local Indigenous families depend.

Do Black lives matter in America? That is the question Detroit-based grantee Detroit Public Television seeks to answer in a special three-part series of shows for American Black Journal produced in collaboration with BridgeDetroit, a new, innovative, community-based news organization. BridgeDetroit’s Orlando Bailey joins American Black Journal host and BridgeDetroit Executive Editor Stephen Henderson for thought-provoking conversations on the urgent issues endangering the lives of African Americans.

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