The Community Foundation of Central Illinois Announces $36,000 in Year-end Grants

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois Responds to Increased Demands on Local Food Banks, Announces $36,000 in Year-end Grants; Total Local Impact to Exceed $58,000.

PEORIA- In response to the increased demands on local food banks, the Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) announced today the distribution of $36,000 in year-end grants to help three local non-profit organizations provide food to needy children and families this holiday season.  CFCI will make three $12,000 grants to benefit the Salvation Army Food Pantry, the Peoria Area Food Bank, and Midwest Food Bank.  The grants are being made by CFCI from the RLI Corporate Fund.  

Directors from each of the food banks took part in a news conference held at the Salvation Army’s Food Warehouse, communicating the impact these grants will have on their programs.  Larry Herman, Director of the Midwest Food Bank said, “Midwest Food Bank is humbled by the investment that RLI is making into our local community. This funding will allow MFB to continue to sit at the table of those we serve and freely give food items that reap the most benefit.  The impact will also benefit the growth of the Tender Mercies program, which offers high fiber and protein. Tender Mercies can feed a family of 4 for less than .50 cents and also bring a better variety of healthy choices to our offerings.  Thank you RLI.”

“This grant will aid us greatly in continuing our efforts to combat “food insecurity” in our area, to make sure no-one goes hungry and provide us the ability to develop our newly formed programs”, stated McFarland A. Bragg II, President/CEO, Peoria Area Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc. “These funds will enable the food bank to concentrate on providing more nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables to our pantries. We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from community organizations, businesses and individuals. Thank you.”

“This news was definitely an answer to a prayer,” said Major Evie Diaz, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army. “In November, our food pantry provided over 9,900 meals- the most in any single month in well over 4 years.” “We are extremely grateful to RLI and its employees for their caring and compassion for those we serve.’ said Diaz. “What a wonderful gesture, especially at this time of year. We can’t thank RLI enough.”
In addition, the $12,000 grant to Peoria Area Food Bank specifically helps to meet the Our Children Are Hungry Challenge Grant Opportunity from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF).  ILCHF has committed to matching dollar for dollar, up to $15,000, any new dollars raised to provide food to children and their families through the winter months of December 2001 – March 2011.  In addition, the employees of RLI, through their Holiday fundraising effort, recently contributed $7,631 to Peoria Area Food Bank, helping to meet, and exceed, the matching requirement for the ILCHF grant. 

“The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is pleased to play a role in leveraging corporate, foundation, and private support to help meet the needs of hungry children and their families in our community”, said Mark Roberts, CFCI’s CEO.  “We thank RLI for their outstanding corporate

philanthropy in partnering with the Community Foundation to make these grants possible and the
Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation for developing the Our Children Are Hungry Challenge Grant Opportunity.  Most especially, we say thank you to RLI’s employees for their overwhelming
generosity in donating over $7600 to the Peoria Area Food Bank, helping to ensure our success in obtaining the ILCHF grant”. 

“RLI established our fund with the Central Illinois Community Foundation to support worthy community initiatives”, said Jonathan E. Michael, CEO & President of RLI.  “We are pleased that RLI’s employee and company efforts could come together with these grants to provide valuable support to those in need.”    

Editor’s Note: The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) has served Central Illinois for over 22 years. Formed in 1988 as the Peoria Area Community Foundation, CFCI supports positive initiatives and innovative approaches to addressing the changing needs of our region.   

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois’ Mission:
To serve as a philanthropic resource committed to Connecting People Who Care with Causes That Matter.


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