Community First Foundation announces the opening of two grant opportunities to support Jefferson County food pantries and early childhood health and wellbeing.
The 2023 Bright Futures Grant provides funding to organizations working to coordinate efforts to ensure Jefferson County families have the support they need to promote their child’s health and well-being. Grant awards will range between $15,000 – $50,000 and the Foundation anticipates making 20 awards with a six-month grant term.
Before the pandemic, a group of community stakeholders came together to create a shared community vision to support the county’s children, prenatal through age eight. Those partners spent a year looking at the needs, challenges, and opportunities for ensuring that all Jefferson County families have the support they need to promote their child’s health and wellbeing in school and in life. The process and shared vision were captured in the development of the Jeffco Bright Futures Roadmap.
The roadmap action plan identifies outstanding needs and priorities for action over the next year and this grant opportunity supports those efforts, which include comprehensive education, prevention, early intervention, and treatment services.
The second 2023 Food Pantry Assistance Grant supports food pantries, emergency, and direct food providers in Jefferson County to increase access to nutritious food with an emphasis on purchasing from local producers. In Jefferson County, local food pantries continue to report two to six times the number of people needing assistance.
With the return to pre-pandemic federal SNAP benefits in March 2023 and inflation and economic hardship, many people and families continue to struggle to afford food. In 2023, significant funding in service to food security has been authorized by the state legislator, which is celebratory news. However, funding for local food pantries requires more financial support for people who are furthest from access to nutritious, locally-produced food!
And though not directly related to FPAG, Colorado’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments that were approved during COVID, which increased SNAP benefits ended in March 2023. As a result, SNAP benefits will be automatically adjusted to reflect regular, pre-pandemic benefit levels. It’s estimated that Colorado will lose $53 million in benefits each month. On average, Coloradans will see a reduction of $90 per person per month, or about $360 for a family of four, though some individuals will see an even greater impact, and older adults in particular. In addition to record inflation impacting housing and groceries, this reduction is pushing many Coloradans toward a hunger cliff.
The Foundation anticipates making up to 30 awards ranging $25,000 – $50,000 for a six-month grant period.
To be considered for these grant opportunities, applicants must be headquartered in, have a physical location in, or have demonstrated commitment to providing meaningful services in Jefferson County. For eligibility requirements, additional information or to apply, visit CommunityFirstFoundation.org/Grants.