A Texas-based nonprofit that provides vitamins to expectant mothers is expanding into Georgia thanks to a grant from a Baptist health care ministry.
The Vitamin Bridge recently announced it plans to serve 10,000 low-income pregnant women in 2023 through a $50,000 contribution from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation.
“The Vitamin Bridge’s program provides bottles of prenatal vitamins to under-resourced moms-to-be through a network of first-touch providers,” according to Lyndsay John, communications director. “Each bottle of vitamins is donated to or purchased by The Vitamin Bridge through relationships with national supplement manufacturers and distributors.”
Based in the Dallas suburb of Coppell, the organization will partner with pregnancy care nonprofits in Georgia to provide expectant mothers with “a healthier start to their pregnancies.”
The Vitamin Bridge received its award during a Feb. 16 luncheon at North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., where the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation distributed $8.8 million in grants to 93 health service organizations that serve underserved communities across the state.
“Since 2005, the GBHCMF has awarded over $65 million in grants to nonprofit health care providers, positively impacting the lives of more than 4.5 million Georgians,” foundation Executive Director Larry Wynn said. “The foundation is committed to providing quality, hands-on health care to those in need.”
Wynn added that the awards are a manifestation of the organization’s calling to ministry. “We believe Jesus Christ made healing his first priority, and then taught afterward. These grants exist to demonstrate the love of Jesus, ensuring that all Georgians have access to life-giving quality hands-on health care.”
The foundation also exists to improve the well-being of Georgians, he said. “We continue this work by offering a better quality of life to the people of Georgia through needed health care ministries, and to help research and develop new health care services that make a positive impact in their lives.”
The Vitamin Bridge has provided 45,000 bottles of prenatal vitamins to more than 42,000 women at 63 locations since its founding in 2019.
“The goal of The Vitamin Bridge is to assist low income/disadvantaged women at the very earliest stage in their pregnancy by providing prenatal vitamins free of charge at their first visit to a pregnancy center or health clinic,” the organization’s website explains. “It is well-documented that early prenatal care, including prenatal vitamins, can decrease the incidence of preterm birth, low birth weight and birth defects, and improve the overall health and outcomes in pregnancy.”
Working through “first touch” organizations is an essential aspect of The Vitamin Bridge strategy of reaching those most in need, the organization said.
“Under-resourced women commonly visit community pregnancy centers and free health clinics for confirmation of their pregnancy. These first-touch providers act as an access point to reach under-resourced moms-to-be with prenatal vitamins and nutritional information.”
The creative spark to launch The Vitamin Bridge resulted from an effort to counter the poor diets and lack of vitamin nutrition that is prevalent among some lower-income pregnancies, the organization said. “We saw a need in our community that was troubling. We believe that everyone deserves a good start to life and wanted to do something about it.”
The foundation was created after the sale of hospitals and physical assets owned by the Georgia Baptist Health Care System, which used to be a ministry of Georgia Baptists.