Several local organizations received significant grants from the Joe Burrow Foundation to support their efforts to address food insecurity and childhood mental health issues in their respective communities.
The foundation announced 21 awards as part of its Do Good Grant program, focused on supporting communities in Ohio and Louisiana. This round of grant awards totaled $594,056.
Joe Burrow – the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting quarterback – grew up in Athens County, Ohio and attended Ohio State University in Columbus before transferring to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Greater Cincinnati organizations receiving funding include Activities Beyond the Classroom, BLOC Ministries, Inc., Community Matters Cincinnati, Inc., IKRON Corporation, Last Mile Food Rescue, Lockland Local School District, Talbert House and Wesley Chapel Mission Center.
Last Mile Food Rescue was the recipient of a $15,000 grant. The organization provides donated food to nonprofit partner agencies that then get the food to those who need it most. These food rescues are done by volunteers – the Food Rescue Heroes – using the Last Mile Food Rescue app.
Last Mile has distributed more than 6 million pounds of food to these agencies since its first rescue in November 2020.
With these new funds, the organization plans to expand its Last Mile Market. Through it, Last Mile directly delivers rescued food four days a week to Greater Cincinnati communities that have limited access to fresh, healthy dining options.
Since May 2022, the the famers market has handed out more than 100,000 pounds of nutritious food, providing 83,333 meals to residents across the region. These new dollars will help Last Mile increase those numbers moving forward, according to Julie Shifman, the organization’s co-founder and vice president of external relations.
“This generous donation allows our Last Mile Market to distribute more food directly to those in need,” she added.
Kevin Corey, Wesley Chapel Mission Center’s executive director, said his Over-the-Rhine-based organization plans to use its $1,200 grant to support the growth of a neighborhood community garden.
The funds will go toward the purchase of equipment, tools and fruit and vegetable seeds to be planted in the aptly named People’s Garden.
Wesley Chapel Mission Center views the community garden project as a way to give teenagers hands-on education about healthy foods and urban agriculture, while also supporting the broader community, Corey said. He noted they’ll share any harvested produce with in-need residents of OTR.
“It’s paramount,” Corey said of grants such as the one from the Joe Burrow Foundation. “It’s paramount for organizations such as ours, because of the lean budget that we operate off, and because of the needs of the children, families and residents of our community.”
“This is a recognition that there are people who care about our kids,” he continued. “There are people who want to help them impact the world by giving them the resources that they need to uplift their community.”
Other Ohio recipients are Middletown-based Feed the Hungry Project, the Meigs County Schools Food Pantry and Mighty Children’s Museum in Chillicothe.
Louisiana-based organizations received a total 10 of grants. The beneficiaries are: 29 11 Academy; Baton Rouge Youth Coalition; Family and Youth Service Center; Family Service of Greater Baton Rouge; Mighty Moms; Ochsner Health Clinic; Opening Doors A Louisiana Nonprofit Corporation; Son of a Saint; The Walls Project and Three O’Clock Project.
“All of these organizations reflect our mission of childhood mental health and food insecurity, and we are proud to partner with each of them,” said Robin Burrow, secretary and treasurer of the Joe Burrow Foundation. She’s also Joe’s mother.
The next grant cycle for the Joe Burrow Foundation opens Sept. 30 and closes Oct. 31.
Those interested in applying can do so on the foundation’s website.