The City of Boulder's Health Equity Fund (HEF) provides grant funding to community organizations and agencies promoting health equity for Boulder residents. Funding investments are awarded through an annual competitive process based on alignment with the intent and language of the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax, a ballot measure which was approved in November 2016.
The Sugar Sweetened Beverage Product Distribution Tax (SSBPDT) is an excise tax of up to two cents per ounce on the first distributor in any chain of distribution of drinks with added sugar, and sweeteners used to produce such drinks. Revenue collected, minus the cost of tax collection and fund administration, is awarded to qualifying nonprofit agencies and organizations, educational or governmental entities – public or private – that propose to serve city residents.
The HEF aims to reduce disparities and to improve health equity among our at-risk population. Examples of HEF-supported programs include those that prevent diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes, heart disease, oral diseases) linked to consumption of sugary beverages; increase access to healthy food and clean water; expand health services and wellness programs; and more. Since the tax went into effect on July 1, 2017, the city has awarded grants or allocated roughly $21 million for health equity programs.