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Two Waldo County programs receive Davis grants

May 05, 2020

Fairfield — The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation has awarded grants to 13 Maine organizations, two of them in Waldo County, through its Children’s Health Small Grants Program.

This year the foundation chose to prioritize the most urgent and essential needs of Maine children during the COVID-19 pandemic, including food, shelter, and health care. The 13 awards total $116,240.

Locally, the Davis Foundation awarded $10,000 to the Jackson Food Pantry and $5,000 to Regional School Unit 71 and the Greater Bay Area Ministerium Food Cupboard.

The Jackson Food Pantry's $10,000 grant provides additional funding to support increased needs of Jackson-area families affected by COVID-19. Funds will bolster the food pantry’s budget to purchase more food from Good Shepard Food Bank and local farmers to meet the increasing needs of a growing number of food insecure residents.

The $5,000 grant to RSU 71 and GBAM supports strong minds and healthy bodies in the greater Belfast area (RSU 71 includes Belmont, Searsmont, Morrill, Swanville and Belfast). Funds will sustain preparation and delivery of nutritious foods to student homes, including breakfast and lunch three times per week and 125 boxes of essential dry goods and produce delivered on Fridays, together with bags of basic hygiene/oral health items.

The other 11 Davis Foundation grant recipients are:

● Bangor Region YMCA: Advancing Children’s Health Through Emergency / $10,000. Funds will support the Y's emergency childcare program, including healthy meals and physical activity, for 150-200 children of essential workers daily.

● Boothbay Region YMCA: Weekend & School Holiday Feeding Program / $10,000. Funds will contribute to Y's ability to meet the rapidly increasing demand for free, nutritious breakfasts and lunches provided to youth up to age 18 every Saturday and Sunday. The Y is already serving 150 children each week and anticipates a two-fold increase as shutdown continues.

● Capital Kids (Boys & Girls Club Augusta): Outside the Box Nutrition Program Emergency Expansion / $8,240. Funds will contribute to the purchase of better commercial kitchen equipment and a food transportation vehicle as the facility ramps up food production to meet growing needs for free daily food in the Augusta community.

● Consumers for Affordable Healthcare Foundation: Health Coverage for Families Responding to COVID-19 / $10,000. Funds will enhance the organization’s ability to assist families with children who are losing access to employer-base health coverage as a result of COVID-19 to apply and enroll in affordable coverage options.

● Freeport Community Services: Operating Support / $5,000. Funds will help cover lost revenue from a closed thrift store retail operation that provides capital for community services, including diverse food access programs that serve many children and families such as a backpack program, food pantry, free lunches, and community gardens.

● Full Plates Full Potential: Full Plates Emergency Fund / $10,000. Funds will support emergency food operations to feed Maine children while schools are closed.

● My Place Teen Center: Daily Mobile Food Pantry / $10,000. Funds will support the Teen Center's efforts to keep kids and teens in their community fed during the pandemic with over 500 fresh dinners and 150+ snacks delivered weekly throughout the Westbrook community.

● Sanford Springvale YMCA: Childcare for First Responders and Essential Staff / $10,000. Funds will support continuation of childcare program for children of essential workers through the pandemic.

● Shaw House, Bangor: Shaw House - COVID-19 Response / $8,000. Funds will bolster the operating budget to allow for strategic use of their facility to continue providing shelter for homeless youth during the pandemic. Separate floors and an alternative off-site location will make quarantine and social distancing possible.

● United Way of Aroostook: Feeding the Vulnerable / $10,000. Funds will contribute to UWA's current efforts to provide food via meal delivery to low-income children, serving approximately 500 children on an ongoing basis.

● YWCA Central Maine, Lewiston: YWCA Central Maine Food & Nutrition Program / $10,000. Funds will contribute to increased demand for free meal and snack programs as YWCA is a pick-up site for free meals for families with children during COVID-19 shutdown.

The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of Maine’s children. Since 2007, through grants ranging from $3,000 to $15,000, the Children’s Health Small Grant Program has awarded just shy of $1 million to support over 100 projects. In a typical year, projects must advance Maine children’s health, focus on prevention and increase access to needed services for underserved populations among other priorities.

Because of urgent needs created by the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation expedited its grant application and award process this year to speed distribution of funds and maximize the impact of the grant program budget. Changes for this year include a shorter timeline for application submissions, with applications due by midnight April 15, and awards made by May 1; a simplified one-step application process; and a waiver of the usual three-year waiting period for organizations to reapply.

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