November 23, 2021
Measuring the New Infrastructure Act's Potential to Improve Chicago Communities
The landmark $1.2 trillion "Investing in Infrastructure and Jobs Act" (IIJA) was signed into law by President Biden on Monday, November 15th, marking the first major bi-partisan fiscal agreement of this administration. The President's "Build Back Better" spending bill - which includes funding for a vast array of social programs - has also passed out of Congress and currently faces an uphill climb on both sides of the Senate aisle. However the IIJA includes a multitude of provisions for transportation improvements, internet access and other projects with the capacity to improve the quality of life in urban environments such as Chicago.

Several of CLOCC's partners have published initial reactions to the passage of the IIJA, including the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which disseminated a comprehensive outlook on potential spending and projects. Included in CMAP's summary are details for a "Transportation Access Pilot Program" to assist with the aggregation of accessibility data, which will inform and improve transportation planning. The pilot program would assist planners with measuring the impact transportation investments may have on healthcare, childcare, education, jobs, and other essential services. Per CMAP, the IIJA also includes a provision for a "Healthy Streets Program," with $500 million over five years in competitive funding slated to install cool and porous pavement and expanded the tree cover with the intention of addressing urban heat islands.

In a recent blog post, the Active Transportation Alliance also recognized the potential impact of the IIJA while advocating for local and regional transportation planning authorities to "move beyond car-centric planning" and prioritize walking, biking and other forms of physically-active transportation. Active Trans joined a coalition of a dozen civic organizations in an appeal to develop "an inclusive and transparent approach in determining which projects to put forward for newly available federal funds."


Strengthening Chicago's Youth (SCY) Introduces Parenting Support Toolkit
Today’s life stressors can be overwhelming for parents. Strengthening Chicago’s Youth (SCY), a partner of the Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, has developed a comprehensive toolkit to assist parents with the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, trauma, issues of poverty and joblessness, ongoing mental and behavioral health needs and other life events. Parents are charged with raising healthy, socially-and-emotionally well-adjusted children while figuring out how to navigate growing pains of parenthood. While this task may be filled with ups and downs, it can also be the most rewarding experience.

This toolkit was developed to help initiate proactive parenting. Most importantly, it is intended to let parents know that they are not alone in raising their children. SCY hopes that parents will discover that the issues that they may be facing are more common than they realize. This toolkit is aimed to: 

  • Empower parents to engage in active parenting by navigating and exploring topics and resolutions to some of the issues that they may be facing. 
  • Support families with identifying resources, interventions and strategies throughout a child’s growth and development. 
  • Provide insight from experts, tips, videos, and more
Reminder: Resources Available for Local Farmers Markets
After a lengthy administrative process, and thanks to diligent attention from health advocates across Illinois, the State has appropriated $500,000 to support the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund. This funding will enable SNAP users to double their purchasing power for healthy foods at local famers markets through the Link Up program, managed by Experimental Station. "Link Match" doubles the value of Link purchases at farmers markets by providing matching currency redeemable at the market for fresh local fruits and vegetables.

To ensure this funding benefits the kids and families in your community, share the flyers below with your local farmers markets to help connect them to the Link Match program. Contact Experimental Station with questions.

Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (H.R. 5919) Introduced in Congress
The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (H.R. 5919) was introduced by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), on November 9th, to help strengthen and expand access to nutritious meals for young children through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

According to a statement from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the bill has the potential to enhance the role of CACFP in improving the quality of nutrition in child care programs, supporting small businesses, and making care more affordable for low-income working parents and other caregivers.

The bill includes critical provisions for CACFP, including:
  • improving the adequacy of benefits by allowing another meal or snack for children in a full day of care
  • improving reimbursement rate adjustments for child care home providers to meet the increasing costs of serving meals
  • streamlining participation by allowing for-profit child care centers to move to annual eligibility
  • maximizing technology to eliminate burdensome and outdated paperwork
  • making improvements to the serious deficiency process.

Watch future CLOCC newsletters for opportunities to support and advocate for the Early Nutrition Improvement Act.
Deadline Extended: Please Complete and Share the 2021 Community Input Survey
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, in partnership with the Alliance for Health Equity, is preparing to conclude the Community Input Survey as they work to improve the health of our communities. If you live in Chicago or suburban Cook County, please take the five-minute survey to share what’s most important to you about your community’s health. We want to know what you think is going well, what needs to be improved and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and your family.

Thank you to the many CLOCC partners who have taken time to participate in this assessment process. We encourage you to take the additional step of sharing the survey with your networks. A communications toolkit, including English and Spanish resources, social media posts and additional flyers is available here.

Program Coordinator,
Prevention Programming
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital

The Program Coordinator is responsible for the management, coordination & sustainability planning of Adolescent Medicine Prevention Services (HIV prevention and linkage to care, substance use and prevention, and other associated adolescent health outreach and education services) The Program Coordinator will also support educational programming support to prevention programming and issues impacting adolescents and young adults. 
Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Illinois Stewardship Alliance is currently hiring for four open positions. ISA is a statewide non-profit organization that brings farmers and eaters together to solve problems, build power, and change policy for a most just and regenerative food system. Open positions include:

  • Illinois Food Justice Alliance Organizer
  • Development Director
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Food & Farm Voter Guide internship. 
Submit Job Openings and Future Events to be Listed
on and in the CLOCC Newsletter
Connect with CLOCC's network of nearly 3,000 childhood obesity prevention advocates by listing your organization's upcoming events or current job openings on the Consortium's website. Upon submission, postings will be approved by CLOCC staff; events and careers applicable to the CLOCC network may also be featured in this newsletter. If you have questions or are not able to access the webpage, contact CLOCC will not publish for-profit services or events, or products for sale.
Click here, or the image above, to view the latest job opportunities in obesity prevention and public health. Are you looking to fill an opening? Submit your listing using the button below.
Click here, or the image above, to view upcoming events targeted for child health and obesity prevention, as well events hosted by local partners. Submit your own event using the button below.
CLOCC focuses upstream to identify the fundamental root causes of obesity, and to broaden the scope of our obesity prevention strategies. This work draws from local and national attention to health equity and social influencers of health, such as immigration, education, poverty and racism, all of which have an impact on people's ability to eat healthy and be active where they live, work, learn, and play. If you have comments or questions about this focus, we invite you to reach out to
As our public health community responds collectively to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CLOCC will work to provide partners with timely, useful information to help leaders, organizations and families. Suggestions for this newsletter feature can be forwarded to
For questions related to testing criteria and general information about COVID-19 and children, please contact the COVID-19 Call Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital at 312.227.5300. The Call Center is staffed by Lurie Children’s nurses and is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT, and Saturday, 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM CT.
COVID Vaccine Approval Arrives for Kids Aged 5-11
Earlier this month, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved for individuals ages 5-11. While this is welcome news to many CLOCC partners, their families, and the families they serve, parents and children may also experience appropriate anxiety regarding the vaccine. Some children also have sensory needs that can make receiving the vaccine difficult. Experts at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital have published some simple tips to help make a child’s COVID-19 vaccine uptake as easy as possible.


  • New: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is accepting applications for the new Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program. The program will provide $665 million to fund competitive grant applications to provide relief to farmworkers and meatpacking workers who incurred pandemic-related health and safety costs. Of the $665 million, $20 million is set aside for at least one pilot program to support grocery workers in recognition of their essential role. The new program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and is part of USDA’s Build Back Better efforts to respond and recover from the pandemic. Eligible state agencies, tribal entities and non-profit organizations serving farmworkers and meatpacking workers can apply now through Feb. 8, 2022, at for grants ranging from $5 million to $50 million. Learn more here. An introductory webinar will be held Wednesday, November 17.


  • Today, more than ever, it is important to keep one's body and mind, active and healthy. Through the efforts of the staff of the Chicago Park District, who focus on keeping Chicagoans active all year-long, a collection of activities is offered to help Chicago families stay active at home at your leisure.



Project for Public Spaces’ Community Placemaking Grants enable US-based nonprofits and government agencies to address this inequality of access by working directly with local stakeholders to transform underperforming public spaces or co-create new ones. This is achieved by providing direct funding, as well as technical assistance and capacity building facilitated by Project for Public Spaces. Learn more here. The deadline is Noon on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
The Healthy Food Financing Initiative aims to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. The program aims to build a more equitable food system that supports the health and economic vibrancy of all Americans. Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, and reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the 2021 HFFI Targeted Small Grants Program is administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development. HFFI provides capacity building and financial resources to eligible healthy food retail projects to overcome the higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas.

In 2021, at least $4 million is available for innovative food retail and food system enterprises that seek to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas. Grant awards will range from $20,000 to $200,000. The program will support projects that are designed to improve access to fresh, healthy food through food retail. Grants will be one-time investments of capital into a food retail or food enterprise project. Grant funds could assist with a variety of project needs, including predevelopment, brick and mortar facility development, other hard capital costs, equipment needs, and one-time soft costs including training, consulting needs, marketing, or merchandising.

The application process includes two phases: a Letter of Interest, and if invited, a Full Application. To learn more about how to apply, please visit The LOI deadline is December 7, 2021.
The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI), has announced an opportunity for communities in Illinois to improve breastfeeding support, continuity of care, and equity by instituting sustainable changes. Four awards of $10,500 will be provided to teams of at least two organizations working together to implement sustainable policy, systems, or environmental (PSE) changes to improve support for breastfeeding in their community, with a focus on the connections between support resources (continuity of care) and equity. Participating organizations will be required to attend four peer-learning calls and three additional technical assistance calls, to discuss how to implement sustainable changes to improve breastfeeding support/continuity of care and strengthen the connection of their team to benefit their communities. This award is supported with funding from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Local government agencies and non-profit organizations that provide support, resources, and services for prenatal, labor/delivery, and/or postpartum families in Illinois are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to organizations engaging diverse communities working to create multiple small changes or one larger policy/systems change to improve breastfeeding support, continuity of care and equity. Teams that include clinical and community-based organizations will be given priority. Send applications and questions to: with subject line “Continuity of Care and Breastfeeding Support Application.” The deadline is December 13, 2021.
Fifteen scholarship opportunities are available from the National CACFP Sponsors Association (NCA) for the 2022 National Child Nutrition Conference. The conference is to be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans April 19 – 21, 2022. Through the scholarship program, NCA is honored to recognize the professionals who are dedicated to ensuring that our nation's most vulnerable populations have access to nutritious food. Each scholarship will include conference registration, four (4) nights' lodging at the conference hotel, and up to $300.00 toward transportation costs. The deadline to apply is January 10, 2022.
Evidence for Action has released a new open and rolling call for Innovative Research to Advance Racial Equity. Through this CFP they seek to fund researchers, practitioners, community leaders, advocates, policymakers, and/or other stakeholders to investigate the impacts of various social interventions on health and racial equity outcomes. They are interested in projects that develop and disseminate evidence about what works to advance racial equity and improve health and well-being outcomes for people and communities of color.
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