Hmong Farmers in MN Part of Grant Effort to End Health Disparities
Thursday, May 20, 2021
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Hmong farmers in Minnesota are playing a role in trying to end health disparities for marginalized residents. They're getting help from a new grant program that seeks to remove barriers to healthier outcomes.
In 2019, the American Heart Association launched its Social Impact Fund in a handful of U.S. cities. Now, the organization is giving nearly $500,000 to three Minnesota groups.
Janssen Hang, executive director of the Hmong American Farmers Association, which will receive one of the grants, said farming is strongly tied to the Hmong culture. In Minnesota, he explained their producers grow many staples, such as corn and tomatoes, but also crops that are culture-specific to a variety of racial groups.
"They're very determined farmers here," Hang remarked. "They just grow vast varieties of crops."
His organization will get $100,000, with most of the money bolstering the group's Food Hub program. The initiative gets produce to educational institutions, health organizations and co-ops in the greater Twin Cities.
According to the 2021 County Health Rankings, certain racial groups in Minnesota have poorer health outcomes when compared with the general population. That includes Black residents nearly doubling their white counterparts in premature deaths.
Justin Bell, vice president of health strategies for the American Heart Association of Minnesota, said in recent years, his organization has placed greater emphasis on social determinants of health.
"And some of those things are housing, and access to healthy foods and education and transportation," Bell outlined.
County Health Rankings also reported only 20% of a person's overall health is determined by medical care, while the rest is determined by things such as social and economic factors.
Other Minnesota grant recipients include a community group in Bloomington that puts people on a path toward homeownership, while preserving Islamic religious principles. The third group tries to establish better life outcomes for those formerly incarcerated.
Disclosure: American Heart Association of Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues and Smoking Prevention. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …
Health and Wellness
BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …
OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …
CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …
BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …
PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …
ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …