Shared from the 2/23/2018 Albany Times Union eEdition


Facilitating healthy living

Community Foundation distributes first Rubin Community Health grants

Photo courtesy of the Community Foundation

Amy Klein, CEO of Capital Roots and Molly Ward, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Whitney Young Health (second and third from left) accept a grant from the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.


The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is a quiet benefactor for countless local nonprofits.

After closing the books on 2017, the nonprofit foundation announced that it made/facilitated $5.4 million in grants, an increase of more than $1 million over 2016.

“A big part of that is because we’re doing grantmaking for several private foundations now,” said Siobhan Kent, communications director at the Community Foundation. “The money passes through the foundation, and we do all of the administrative work.”

The foundation manages millions of dollars in assets through 400-plus separate charitable funds and works closely with fund holders and donors to determine how money should be allocated.

More than $330,000 was recently distributed to Capital Region nonprofits in the first round of grants from the Hortense and Louis Rubin Community Health Fund.

The Community Foundation received an initial $7.25 million gift from the sale of the nonprofit Hortense and Louis Rubin Dialysis Center in 2016.

Net assets from the center, accumulated during its years of operation from 1986 to 2014, and the subsequent sale of its three dialysis locations and related real estate will be added to the Rubin Community Health Fund over the next several years, potentially doubling the amount of annual grants that can be made.

Grants are awarded through a competitive process to support nonprofits and programs dedicated to the prevention, management and treatment of patients with kidney disease and associated conditions.

Capital Roots received a $50,000 grant to continue and expand its Veggie Rx Program partnership with Whitney Young Health.

“When it comes to diabetes, Whitney Young Health puts an emphasis on education and training to help patients modify their behavior and make better eating decisions (and) since working with Capital Roots, we’ve really made a difference with the patients in the program,” said David Shippee, president and CEO of Whitney Young Health. “This grant enables us to accept more patients into the program and directly address the inequalities in health and diet that lead to a greater occurrence of diabetes and hypertension.”

Veggie Rx is a fruit and vegetable voucher program that helps patients affected by nutrition-related chronic conditions — like diabetes, hypertension and obesity — through a holistic “prescription produce” approach.

Patients receive books with a dozen $7 coupons, redeemable for fresh food on board Capital Roots’ Veggie Mobile and at Veggie Mobile Sprout Markets. The mobile units make 35 weekly stops within the Capital Region that patients are encouraged to visit.

In addition, nutritionists at Whitney Young Health work to educate patients about making healthy choices and sustained changes to their eating habits.

“Capital Roots’ mission is to make fresh food accessible to all residents in our region, (and) partnering with Whitney Young Health through our Veggie Rx program ensures that those suffering from nutrition-related illnesses are provided the resources necessary to eat and live well,” said Capital Roots CEO Amy Klein. “Funding from the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Hortense and Louis Rubin Fund is critical to ensure this program continues to grow and thrive.” @JenSPatterson 518-454-5340

Prescription for healthy eating

For information about CAPITAL Capital Roots’ Veg-

GIVES REGION with gieRx Whitney partnership Young Health, go to

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