Human Services, Health Organizations and Transit Receive a Majority of Kresge's Nearly $73 Million in First Quarter Grants
TROY, Mich., April 9, 2209 — Signaling the importance of affirming and strengthening philanthropic support for nonprofits in times of crisis, the trustees of The Kresge Foundation awarded nearly $73 million in grants in the first quarter of 2009. The awards represent the largest quarterly commitment in the 85-year-old foundation's history. It also reflects the foundation's continuing effort to build-out its longer-term strategies to fortify the essential components of healthy, vibrant communities while identifying ways to help improve the life circumstances of low-income citizens in the here-and-now.
"As a large, private foundation, our time to lead is now," says Elaine D. Rosen, chair of the board of trustees. "It is tempting to look at a reduction in our assets and fall back into a cautious, defensive posture. But we have decided that we must instead step forward, investing where we can to strengthen the social safety net without sacrificing our long-term objectives."
The metropolitan Detroit-based foundation focuses its grantmaking in six fields of interest: health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education and human services. Seventy-five awards were made in 28 states and the District of Columbia; two grants were awarded to higher education institutions in South Africa.
Human Services: Nimbleness at a time of great need
Kresge awarded $10.6 million in grants to 19 human service organizations around the country that provide food service and distribution, shelter to homeless individuals and families, affordable housing for the poor, and legal aid to residents of North Carolina's Appalachian Region.
The largest single human service award - $1.45 million - went to Mid-Ohio Foodbank. As the state's largest food bank, it distributes more than 29 million pounds of food to 20 counties through a network of 530 food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, homeless shelters and after-school programs.
Another food provider, Open Arms of Minnesota, received an $800,000 award. Located in Minneapolis, it is the state's only agency that prepares and delivers free meals to low-income individuals living with chronic and progressive diseases, including HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.