Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coverage: Backus, Hunger Coalition Receive Bremer Grants

Backus, Hunger Coalition receive Bremer grants,

Created 07/01/2009 - 9:31am
International Falls Daily Journal

Citizens for Backus and the Falls Hunger Coalition were among 66 recipients of grants authorized at a recent meeting of the Otto Bremer Foundation board.

Citizens for Backus AB was awarded $50,000 cash, which it received just a week ago, to be used exclusively on a kitchen project, said Ward Merrill, executive director of Citizens for Backus AB.
The grant also involves a $30,000 match, he said.

“It means if we can raise $30,000 on our own, Bremer will give us another $30,000; and we’ve already started to work on that,” he said.

Because of the match, Merrill said now would be a good time for anyone who would like to help support the kitchen project to donate.

“For every dollar received locally, we will receive another dollar from Bremer,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to make your dollar go a lot further than it normally would.”

Citizens for Backus AB has begun to install a commercial-quality kitchen, which will allow the group to increase its food service for the community center.

The Falls Hunger Coalition food shelf received $15,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation. This funding is for general operations of the non-profit food shelf.

The food shelf continues to see an increase in need within the service area of Koochiching County. As a result, during 2008, the amount of food available per person decreased by more than five pounds.

“This operational grant will assist the food shelf in weathering the current economic situation and maintain service at an acceptable Blue Ribbon Food Shelf standard,” said Nancy Anderson, director of Falls Hunger Coalition.

Falls Hunger Coalition’s yearly budget is based almost totally on hopeful direct public support, and local fund raising, Anderson said. Operational and program-specific grants help to offset what cannot be raised at the local level.

“Our community is extremely fortunate to have the ongoing support of the Otto Bremer Foundation,” Anderson commented.

Meanwhile, Merrill said the kitchen project is viewed as a source of sustainable revenue for the Backus Community Center.

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