You may remember that last September, Target announced that our corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy was evolving to focus on wellness. We know wellness is a personal journey, and it’s about the choices people make every day. They’re seeking progress over perfection, inspiration from new ideas, and accessible, affordable and inspirational product choices that help them and their families lead healthy lives. To meet people where they are on this journey, we kicked off a holistic, integrated approach—making wellness a signature business category, at the center of our CSR efforts, and a continued priority for investing in our team. By making it easier for our team members, guests and communities to be active, eat healthy and choose products made with materials and ingredients they can trust, we believe we can do our part to make a real difference.
That means we’re working to incorporate wellness-focused initiatives throughout all aspects of our business—from growing our Made to Matter collection of purpose-driven, natural, organic and sustainable products, to adding better-for-you snack options in our store checklanes. In October, we put out a call for new partners with innovative proposals to help us hone our strategy and kick off our work in this area. Since then, our teams have been hard at work developing plans and testing out new partnerships, like our work with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on its UNICEF Kid Power program.
To demonstrate our commitment to making an impact, Target plans to invest $40 million this year to organizations serving communities across the country, committed to giving children and families more choices that allow them to increase their physical activity and eat healthy every day. Today, we’re excited to announce the first of Target’s wellness partners and programs, and share a closer look at how we’ll build on our legacy of work in education, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and addressing local community needs.
Here’s a peek at some of Target’s newest partners, and what we hope to accomplish together.
What they do: The Healthy Schools Program, which helps create sustainable, healthy school environments that improve nutrition, increase physical activity and provide wellness policies and education for students and families.
Together, we’ll: Expand the program to reach more than 20 million kids in 35,000 schools across the country by 2017.
What they do: Culturally-relevant, hands-on cooking and nutrition education programs for children, parents and teachers that help prevent childhood obesity and get kids cooking for life.
Together, we’ll: Expand the programs to reach an additional 8,000 underserved kids and families in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami and New York in 2016-2017.
What they do: Edible Education for All, a cost-effective, standards-based food education model, currently serving 2,000 students directly, and an additional 40,000+ students indirectly, through professional development in New York City.
Together, we’ll: Reach over 2,000 New York City students and lay groundwork to grow the model to help more students learn about healthy eating.
What they do: Empower high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives and make healthier choices through exercise, nutrition, gratitude and community service.
Together, we’ll: Expand the just keep livin program to 200+ high school students from inner-city schools in Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. during the 2016-17 school year.
What they do: Create great places for kids to play, while inspiring communities to promote play and encouraging kids and families to boost their physical activity.
Together, we’ll: Create 175 unique play spaces for kids across the U.S., and through the Play Everywhere Challenge, empower cities to turn everyday spaces into play areas that encourage more families to get active and play together.
What they do: The non-profit makes produce more affordable for families who need it most by working with healthcare providers to offer “prescriptions” that allow for affordable access to fruits and vegetables, redeemable at Target stores and farmers markets, along with clinical and nutritional counseling.
Together, we’ll: Provide in-need Los Angeles residents with affordable access to 225,000+ pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables through the program.
What they do: YWCA of Minneapolis is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and girls, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Together, we’ll: Support the YWCA’s programs and strategies to help 200 underserved youth learn to boost their physical activity and make healthy food choices through positive peer interactions and activities.
Of course, those are just a few—meet more of our partners here.
“We’re excited to partner with an impressive array of organizations who are already doing such important work to make an impact in the wellness space,” says Laysha Ward, chief corporate social responsibility officer, Target. “Together, we’ll help remove barriers to wellness in our communities, working to increase the consumption of nutrient-dense food and physical activity for kids and families across the country. These investments will help us meet people where they live, learn, work and play—leading to sustainable behavior change and helping us all be the best version of ourselves.”
And this is just the beginning. As our teams work with our new partners, we’ll continue to test, learn, and evolve our portfolio to align with our business and our communities’ changing needs. That means, we’ll be making additional investments throughout the rest of the year and beyond. Stay tuned for more information about our partnerships.