The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation recently awarded the Itasca Area Cancer Fund and Deer River Farmers Market grants during their Annual Grant Cycle. “We live in a generous community,” says Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs for the Community Foundation. “Every year we are impressed with the compassionate, giving people who make our Annual Grant Cycle possible.”
It takes people working behind the scenes to evaluate and administer the many requests and awards. Copeland recognizes the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation staff, “I absolutely must commend Brianna Spry, Program Administrator (photo left) and Cathy Sayward, Administrative Assistant (photo right) at the Community Foundation. From taking minutes to double-checking lists and data entry, (and me giving them that ‘get in the picture’ look) I am humbled by their commitment to the community and the Foundation. Thank you.”
Itasca Area Cancer Crisis Fund supports local families and individuals
The Itasca Area Cancer Crisis Fund (IACCF), was started in honor of Jackie Bischoff. Jackie lost her battle to cancer in 2010. “Jackie was known as a giving and caring person, so this fund was created to help people in our community,” says Sarah Duell from the Itasca Area Cancer Crisis Fund.
The IACCF helps people in our community by providing small crisis grants to support local families and individuals dealing with cancer. For the most part, these grants are directed to support incidental costs of cancer treatment, such as fuel costs for traveling to appointments or hotel costs once there.
PHOTO: Sarah Copeland (center) presents grants to Trina Jacobson (left) and Sarah Duell (right) for the Itasca Area Cancer Crisis Fund.
The Itasca Area Cancer Crisis Fund was awarded $10,000 from the Endowed Sharing Fund and $50 from a private online donation at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.
Deer River Area Health Care Foundation receives funds to promote Deer River Farmers Market
The Deer River Community Health Partnership, led by the Deer River Area Health Care Foundation, has been working over the past two years to promote healthy eating and active living in Deer River and surrounding communities. According to Leah Oslin, Executive Director Deer River Area Health Care Foundation and Deer River Farmers Market, “Results of a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment in 2016 showed a need for fresh local food access for Deer River Area residents. With this in mind, a subcommittee was formed to help establish a Farmers Market in Deer River.”
The major driving forces for establishing a Farmers Market in Deer River are:
Making locally grown fresh produce available to Deer River area residents. While grocery stores are available in Deer River, the Market gives consumers another option to purchase fresh, locally grown foods that are highly nutritious.
Provide an opportunity for local farmers, gatherers and artisans to sell their goods and increase overall economic vitality in the community.
A fun community-oriented event that will enhance downtown Deer River and allow other organizations to partner, creating a destination for residents and tourists alike.
The group began meeting in early 2017 to plan for a late summer “Farmers Market Event” in Deer River to pilot test the program. The Farmers Market was held on Friday, August 11, 2017 at Northview Bank in Deer River. A weekly Market was launched July 14, 2018.
Northview Bank has graciously allowed the Market to utilize the east lawn of their property as well as a portion of the parking lot. This provides visibility as people travel on Highway 2. The Market has received support from Essentia Health and Northview Bank, as well as funding from the Deer River Area Health Care Foundation. The Farmers Market is recruiting vendors this winter to allow farmers, growers and makers ample time to plan and prepare.
In addition to marketing expenses, they will also be purchasing processing equipment, so they can process Food Assistance (EBT), which will greatly increase access to the Market for the community.
The Market was awarded $1,000 from the Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund.
PHOTO: Jesse Davis, Grand Rapids Farmers Market; Steve Lawrence, Deer River Food Shelf; Leah Oslin, Executive Director Deer River Area Health Care Foundation and Deer River Farmers Market; Sarah Copeland, Community Foundation Director of Grants and Programs