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ACF awards $1.8 million in grants

1/2/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

DOWNTOWN AKRON — On Dec. 6, Akron Community Foundation’s (ACF) Board of Directors ratified $1.8 million in grants, including 176 grants totaling $1,310,392 from designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds, and 29 discretionary grants totaling $507,500. Of the discretionary funding, $492,500 will support local health and human services programs, and $15,000 will help repair and rehabilitate the homes of low-income, elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners.

With a proactive grant to the Institute for Conservation Leadership, the board took an initial step toward improving the way food is produced and distributed locally, according to ACF officials. In total, $20,000 will fund the community’s first formal assessment and report on its food economy. Included in the report will be recommendations for how local funders, grocers, community gardeners, farmers and other partners can work together to improve food systems.

Community Investment Committee Chair Steven Cox said the report’s recommendations will guide the ACF’s future food funding. The recommendations also will be shared with other funders in hopes of creating a consistent funding strategy for initiatives related to food.

“This grant is in line with the community foundation’s commitment to funding systemic improvements in Summit County,” Cox said. “The Institute for Conservation Leadership has a great deal of experience and knowledge related to local food systems and what makes them strong. Their report will better position us to work collaboratively to tackle the challenges in the food system and make proper strategic funding decisions.”

In addition, other health and human services grants will help nonprofits provide services to seniors who live independently, teach refugees and low-income residents how to navigate the health care system, and shelter homeless women and children.

These grants were awarded from the following field-of-interest and unrestricted funds created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in the Greater Akron community: the Adam Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, William C. Krisher Fund, Polsky Fund, C. Colmery Gibson Polsky Fund, Helen S. Robertson Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Sanatorium Contingent Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, George Stevens Fund and the Community Fund:

  • ACCESS Inc., to provide housing and assistance to homeless women and children, $25,000;
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, to serve an estimated 19.5 million meals to families struggling with food insecurity through direct distribution and food pantry capacity building, $50,000;
  • American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties, to provide free transportation to and from medical appointments for Summit County residents without transportation or who cannot afford transportation, $10,000;
  • AxessPointe Community Health Center Inc., to support an integrated health care model that will combine primary and behavioral health care to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, $25,000;
  • Battered Women’s Shelter, to provide crisis intervention and emergency services to victims of domestic violence and rape, $35,000;
  • Beacon Journal Charity Fund Inc., to teach third-graders the benefits of oral health through in-class demonstrations, where they will receive free toothbrushes and other dental health items, $7,500;
  • Bridges Summit County/UWSC, for the Getting Ahead and Bridges out of Poverty workshops, $30,000;
  • Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, for the $170 million Building on the Promise campaign for the Akron campus expansion, which will include a new emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit, high-risk infant delivery unit and outpatient surgery center, $25,000;
  • CORE Furniture Bank, to provide donated furniture to families in need in Summit County, $5,000;
  • First Glance Student Center Inc., to provide support, guidance and training in all areas of parenting for young mothers and fathers through the Teen Moms program, $10,000;
  • Freedom House for Women Inc., to offer intervention services to prevent chronically poor residents currently under eviction from becoming homeless, $10,000;
  • Info Line Inc., for the Emergency Food Line that provides low-income and at-risk individuals and families with referrals to area food pantries, $20,000;
  • Institute for Conservation Leadership, to create a report on the local food network and provide best practices for the local food system, $20,000;
  • International Institute of Akron, to teach refugees within their first 90 days of arrival in the U.S. how to navigate the health care system, make medical appointments and use public transportation to ensure long-term, self-managed health, $18,000;
  • Interval Brotherhood Home, to measure sobriety outcomes through the four national standards of: abstinence from drug and alcohol use; employment or school enrollment; safe, sober housing; and no new criminal justice system involvement, $10,000;
  • Jewish Family Service, to prevent the eviction of seniors in subsidized housing through counseling, care management and tenant education, $5,000;
  • Mature Services Inc., to provide essential in-home assistance, including personal care, laundry and cleaning services, to low-income seniors who live alone without regular family support or other community assistance, $10,000;
  • Mental Health America of Summit County, to provide education, advocacy and support to parents of minor children with severe emotional disorders through the PEERS project, $12,000;
  • Mobile Meals Inc., to provide meals and supplements to children, disabled individuals and elderly people who can’t afford them, $35,000;
  • Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry, for OPEN M’s free clinic, which offers integrated medical, dental, eye and behavioral health care to uninsured and underserved residents, $15,000;
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to provide low-income women at the Akron Health Center with long-acting reversible contraception, $15,000;
  • Portage Path Behavioral Health, to upgrade to an integrated electronic health record system, $20,000;
  • Prevent Blindness Ohio, to provide eye care to medically indigent children and adults, $10,000;
  • Rebuilding Together Summit County Inc., to provide critical home repair services to individuals in need, $15,000;
  • Summa Health System, for the Center for Health Equity, which helps underserved individuals overcome barriers to health and obtain necessary services, $10,000;
  • Summit County Fatherhood Initiative, to help men become better fathers and mentors through educational programs, $20,000;
  • United Disability Services, to provide individuals with severe disabilities with assessments, vocational counseling, training and supportive services to help them secure unsubsidized employment, $15,000;
  • Victim Assistance Program, to provide 24-hour support and advocacy for victims of crime and trauma, $20,000; and
  • Victory Gallop, Inc., to provide therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with behavioral challenges and life-threatening illnesses, $5,000.
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