Community Fund donates to three RF agenciesAs it ended 2012, the River Falls Community Foundation made $1,000 donations to three local organizations that provide direct food, medical and housing assistance to low income families.
As it ended 2012, the River Falls Community Foundation made $1,000 donations to three local organizations that provide direct food, medical and housing assistance to low income families.
The donations went to River Falls Community Food Pantry, Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties and Assistance and Resource Center.
According to its grant application, the Food Pantry hopes to use the money to help with costs associated with hiring a marketing specialist to advertise the pantry to potential consumers and donors. The Food Pantry has applied to other foundations for major funding for the project, which is expected to cost over $25,000.
The intent is to hire a specialist to work 20 hours a week. The position’s duties would include developing print materials, creating a DVD and doing public speaking to businesses, organizations, schools and churches.
The Food Pantry is a volunteer organization with, at this time, no paid positions. It has 75 volunteers and each month has over 400 client visits and distributes over 30,000 pounds of food.
“We have over 75 volunteers at this time. However with over 400 client visits a month and over 30,000 pounds of food being distributed each month, we are struggling to meet the needs of our consumers,” says the grant application.
The Free Clinic will use its $1,000 to buy and distribute blood glucose test strips, said Mary Conroy-Johnson, who chairs the clinic’s board of directors. She said the clinic had previously been able to obtain the strips -- for diabetics who make up about 22% of the clinic’s patients -- at little cost, but they are now much less available. Fifty test strips cost about $20 and will last a diabetic for less than a month.
“We are unaware of any other program in our community which provides a wide range of free medications and supplies to those who have no other means of obtaining them,” said Conroy-Johnson in the grant application.
In 2011 the Free Clinic, which is open Tuesday evenings, completed 2,668 patient visits, including both clinical and medication dispensing visits. In 2012 the clinic added about 300 more patients.
The $1,000 donation to ARC, which is based at Ezekiel Lutheran Church, will be used for utility and housing assistance, said Cheryl Dintemann, who submitted the grant application.
In 2011 ARC, which was formed in 2005, fielded 648 phone calls and was able to serve 536 community members -- 413 families and 123 individuals.
It provided housing, utility, transportation and food assistance as well as referral information.
The River Falls Community Foundation, established in 1999, in operated by a volunteer board of directors. Its mission is to “enhance the quality of life in River Falls by partnering with individuals to nurture quality living through generous giving.”
The foundation focuses on providing funding in the areas of education, human services, civic projects, youth and the environment.