Eating Heart Healthy Program Receives Vela Foundation Grant

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Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s Signature Health-Intervention Project Will Commence in Boston

It was especially moving to hear the women’s interest in their own health and in passing along these benefits to their families.

The Vela Foundation has awarded a one-year grant to help fund Eating Heart Healthy, the signature nutrition-intervention program of the nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), in Boston in 2016. The program will be presented in conjunction with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and will take place on-site at Roxbury Tenants of Harvard, an affordable-housing community for low- and moderate-income families, and at YMCA Boston.

Eating Heart Healthy is a program in which underserved women learn how to improve their heart health by adopting a seafood-rich diet. Developed in partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, it was piloted at Roxbury Tenants of Harvard in 2014. The program’s nutrition education model has proven effective at motivating behavior change towards healthier eating habits.

The announcement of the grant follows a 2014 site visit to the pilot program by Ms. Bernadette Rehnert, Founding Trustee of the Vela Foundation. In her work with the Foundation, Ms. Rehnert has focused on nutrition education as a fundamental basis for the prevention of chronic diseases.

“When I saw the program in action, I was very impressed with the nutrition education component and the participants’ interest in hearing about the benefits of seafood in one’s diet,” Ms. Rehnert said. “I remember a woman named Jacquie expressing that she had never been given this information before and therefore was dismayed that she hadn’t provided this nutritional benefit to her children. It was especially moving to hear the women’s interest in their own health and in passing along these benefits to their families. I am happy to contribute to shaping this program so it can be more sustainable and fundable by foundations like ours.”

SNP Executive Director Linda Cornish said, “We are grateful for this award, and we appreciate Ms. Rehnert’s visionary leadership in funding nutrition education for the people of Boston. She really took the time to learn about the program, and met our team and participants. And she provided great feedback, which we took to heart. We’ve used it to make improvements, allowing us to scale the program and expand nationwide.”


About Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire a healthier America through partnerships that raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood. SNP, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and NCD Roundtable, leads education efforts to help Americans gain the skills to select, order and prepare fish and shellfish, and to inspire a healthier America by promoting a nutrient-rich diet that includes seafood. In October 2015, SNP launched a three-year national public health education campaign. For more information, visit

About The Vela Foundation
The Vela Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to promoting improved nutrition and wellness in eastern Massachusetts with an emphasis on underserved communities. It supports organizations whose missions include nutrition literacy and education, and increasing access to healthy foods. Preference is given to organizations with strong family engagement and goals to ensure sustainable, long-term changes in communities. For more information, visit

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