By Libby Hopkins

There are many non-profits in the Tampa Bay area that struggle each year to keep funds coming in to help their causes. The Humana Foundation realized these struggles back in 2003 when they launched the Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago. The goal was to provide a transformational impact on non-profits and improve the health and well being of the communities it serves. Since its beginning, the foundation has awarded more than $8 million to non-profits in 11 communities nationwide.

This year the foundation re-launched its signature philanthropic program by increasing the grant amount from $100,000 to $350,000, which will provide over a three-year period to non-profits in Chicago, San Antonio and Tampa. The three-year period will allow the winning non-profits to receive $200,000 the first year, $100,00 the second year and $50,000 in the final year. “With the Humana Communities Benefit grant, our hope is to create new programs or enhance ongoing activities that will provide a positive, transformational impact on the winning organization and help it improve the health and well being of the community it serves,” said Alvaro Hernandez, Humana Central and North Florida Market Vice-President.

Applications for the grant are being accepted from through Monday, June 30. The judging of the applicants will take place during August and the winners will be announced in September.

“With roughly one month left to apply, we are encouraging all non-profits focused on promoting healthy behaviors and healthy relationships to apply,” Hernandez said.

Some of the past winners in Tampa include The Children’s Cancer Center of Tampa, The Centre for Women, Warrick Dunn Foundation, America’s Second Harvest Food Bank and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, which won the grant last year and recently broke ground on the new Humana Educational Pavilion at the Florida Learning Gardens.

“The grant was a very positive experience and everyone at Humana was open to assisting with any questions and concerns we had during the process,” Debra Evenson, Executive Director of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful said. “Once the pavilion is completed this fall, it will be the keystone to our garden and a place for us to use with our partners to share our environmental message.” The Florida Learning Garden is open to the community for schools and other organizations to visit or use the facility for environmental education.

To learn more about The Humana Foundation and the Humana Communities Benefit program or for local non-profits that would like to apply for the grant, visit

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.