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Rite Aid Healthy Futures commits $1M to expand partnership with Girls on the Run

The funding will advance Girls on the Run’s work in diversity and youth empowerment.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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With aims to combat health disparities and advance fitness and friendships among adolescent girls, Rite Aid Healthy Futures has renewed its partnership with Girls on the Run through a $1 million grant. The grant will support the organization’s continued inclusion, diversity, equity and access work. The announcement comes as local Girls on the Run councils prepare for their spring 5Ks, end-of-season events well-known for their powerful positivity and celebratory atmosphere.

Girls on the Run is a leader in positive youth development, and its experience-based curriculum creatively integrates running to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. The organization currently operates 171 local councils across the United States and Canada, serving nearly 200,000 girls annually.

The latest funding marks the third year of partnership between GOTR and Rite Aid Healthy Futures, the public charity affiliated with Rite Aid that seeks to advance equity and opportunity for children and youth. The grant supports the two organizations’ shared commitment to strengthening and empowering local communities.

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“As we continue to empower girls to reach their full potential, we remain committed to ensuring that our programming reaches all communities and provides a place where all participants feel like they belong,” said Elizabeth Kunz, CEO at Girls on the Run. “Reaching girls at a young age helps them learn healthy habits and life skills that will support them into adolescence and beyond. For girls from communities facing challenges such as poverty and health disparities, the need is even greater."

The $1 million grant will benefit the Girls on the Run headquarters as well as the 50 local councils in Healthy Futures’ footprint, with funding focused on the continued development of GOTR’s inclusion, diversity, equity and access work. In particular, Girls on the Run is focused on reaching girls from historically underserved communities, promoting a culture of inclusion across the organization, building a culturally competent curriculum and increasing local resources in key communities.

Local councils will use the funds to diversify their coaching staff, increase program access to girls of color and further enhance programming that acknowledges the needs and realities of their communities. Funds also will go to strengthening the organization’s core programming and training while supporting sustainability across local councils, many of which are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

The partnership between Healthy Futures and Girls on the Run was established in 2020, with an initial grant of $1 million supporting programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 grant contributed to GOTR swiftly adapting services and programming to serve girls meaningfully and safely across the pandemic.

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“We remain inspired by the commitment of Girls on the Run to create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “Our partnership will ensure that more girls have access to their innovative programming that addresses health disparities and racial inequities in communities, enabling girls to reach their full potential and futures.”