The Foundation steps up when a need or opportunity arises to do something beneficial for Allegan County. Such is the case with the Allegan County Food Pantry Collaborative, the 2-3-4 Scholarship, and the Love Your Hometown initiative.
Allegan County Food Pantry Collaborative
Seventeen food pantries from throughout Allegan County have joined the ACFPC to seek the opportunity to work together in strategy, networking and mutual efficiencies as they strive to serve those in need. The funding to establish and maintain the ACFPC is provided by the Allegan County Community Foundation (Note: special thanks to the Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation for previous grants to support the ACFPC). To date, resources raised for the pantries exceed $350,000. Monetary gifts to the ACFPC are divided proportionately among the pantries in the form of protein, canned goods, and cereal.
Some highlights of the ACFPC:
- Over the last three years, the livestock auction at the Allegan County Fair has resulted in 81 donations. Thanks to a tremendous partnership with Feeding America West Michigan, processing and transportation costs of these donations have been waived and the member pantries of the ACFPC will have received nearly 15,000 pounds of meat. Because meat is an expensive, but protein-rich food, pantry clients are very appreciative.
- Back-to-school drives have raised between 5,000 – 7,000 items each year. Pantry clients struggling to make ends can send their children to school with the necessary supplies for success.
- The annual cereal, peanut butter and soup drives have lifted a great financial burden off of families who utilize the pantries of the ACFPC. The annual cereal drive held in April, strives to raise one box per child per week of summer vacation. Because hunger doesn’t take a vacation…
Scholarships are wonderful resources as students begin their educational pursuits. Unfortunately, scholarships typically focus on the freshman or first year of school. The ACCF 2-3-4 Scholarship is funded by the Foundation and provides scholarships to Allegan County graduates who are in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of higher education. Gifts to the 2-3-4 Scholarship Fund can make a significant difference for a student who has made education their focus.
Love Your Hometown
Love Your Hometown is a new initiative of the Foundation. Community members throughout Allegan County submit ideas that beautify, improve or enhance their hometown. Winning ideas are selected by members of each community. The idea that resonates most, as shown by the number of votes received, receives a $1,000 grant. New in 2020 — a WILD CARD winner! There were so many outstanding projects that didn’t receive the most votes, the ACCF decided to add an additional, WILD CARD, winner. Gifts to the Love Your Hometown Fund go to support the program costs (marketing and literature) associated with the initiative.