Community foundation awarded grant to improve seniors’, kids’ health.

February 18, 2016

fresh produceSHELBY – The Community Foundation for Muskegon County announced it has been awarded a grant of $315,000 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF) to support initiatives that will improve access to and consumption of healthy food for children and seniors

in Muskegon, Oceana, Mason and Manistee counties. Funds allocated for competitive grantmaking in Oceana, based on population size, will be $33,000.

“This grant allows the foundation to support established projects as well as new ideas, and fosters networking activities that create the connections necessary for these projects – and for our community – to thrive,” said Tammy Carey, Oceana Foundation Executive Director.

Community access to these funds will be through a competitive grantmaking process that is open to nonprofit organizations including schools, governmental units, faith-based organizations and 501(c)3 nonprofits that serve residents of Oceana County with a special emphasis on low-income children and seniors. Cross-community projects are encouraged.

Grant applications must focus on producing significant impact on:

  1. Increasing access to healthy food for children and seniors in poverty.
  2. Community or systems changes that strengthen the local food system in disadvantaged areas.
  3. Economic growth around sustainable community-based food systems programs.

Those interested in applying for funding are encouraged to attend a grant workshop Friday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. in the Hart Community Room, (behind Hart City Hall) at 407 S. State St. Complete details about the application process are available on the Foundation’s website at www.oceana-foundation.org/receive/healthy-oceana. The grant deadline is March 31, 2016 and letters of intent are due by March 15. Applications will be reviewed by the HEALTHY Oceana Community Advisory Council, and awards will be announced on or before May 15, 2016.

“The Michigan Health Endowment Fund board is proud to support a variety of very successful programs already positively impacting the health of Michigan’s children and seniors as a result of our first grant funding effort,” said Rob Fowler, Michigan Health Endowment board chairman. “We look forward to building additional relationships with Michigan’s community foundations and other nonprofit organizations as they continue their focused work to improve the health of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund was established to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The Fund was created through the passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) operates in the state. For additional information about the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, visit www.mhealthfund.com.

Area nonprofits are also invited to apply for the next general grant round. By March 31, interested nonprofits must go onto the foundation’s website www.oceana-foundation.org/receive/apply-for-a-grant and submit a letter of intent.

“We do two grant rounds a year, now and in the fall,” added Carey. Applicants should review the criteria for successful grant submissions as awards are made on a competitive basis.

The Community Foundation for Oceana County was created in 1989 by local residents to improve the quality of life in their communities. A publicly-supported community endowment, the foundation works with donors, grantees, advisers, and communities to identify and support the issues that shape our area. For any questions on the Healthy Oceana or other grant opportunities, potential applicants are encouraged to call Tammy Carey at 231-861-8335.

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