General News

Stellar Communities adds funding for health related projects

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) is excited to announce an expansion of the partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) with additional grant funding to the Stellar Communities Program. The State Office of Rural Health will have specified grant funding to be used towards community health and wellness projects for Stellar designated regions. This supplements the current partnership with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity.

The Stellar Communities program is a multi-agency partnership designed to recognize smaller communities that identify comprehensive and collaborative plans for community and economic development. Incorporating community health and well-being as a component of community-wide planning will improve the comprehensive nature of the process. 

“The goal of Stellar Communities is to encourage a collaborative planning process for all aspects of community development. Including a health component helps address a key challenge that many rural areas are encountering,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA.

The grant totals $34,000 per region for projects that address health issues within their respective regions. Projects can include ideas that address challenges identified in their Community Health Assessment. The funds must be expended by July 1, 2019 and are subject to federal eligibility.

Projects examples include, but are not limited to:

  • A community garden
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Wellness programming  
  • Behavioral health services
  • Support groups
  • Community meal services
  • Breast feeding support

The Letter of Intent (LOI) submission process for the Stellar Communities Program is completed through Foundant, an online grant application system. LOIs are due via Foundant by April 6 at 4 p.m. (EDT). As a reminder, no paper submissions will be accepted and submissions entered after 4 p.m. will not be eligible. Visit for more information and additional resources.

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