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We are excited to announce our Spring Grant Recipients!

Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, Black Mamas Village, Every Meal, Miracle Foundation, and Root Capital are each receiving grants of varying amounts totaling $55,000 towards continuing their missions.

Black Mamas Village – $10,000

Initiative Location: Austin, Texas

Initiative Cause Areas: Family Empowerment Programs; Mental Health; Women Empowerment Programs

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 03 Good Health & Well-Being

Initiative Description: The Radiant Roots program is a holistic initiative aimed at nurturing wellness, fostering connection, and cultivating resilience among Black mothers in our community. Through mental health peer support groups, renovation of the nap room, and childcare for respite, the program empowers mothers to prioritize their mental and emotional wellbeing while fostering a sense of belonging. Recognizing the importance of self-care and collective care in healthcare and mental health, Radiant Roots provides a supportive space for mothers to engage in individual and communal wellness practices.

Initiative Impact: The anticipated impact of this grant is significant, aiming to address the mental health needs of Black mothers in our community. We expect to achieve increased access to mental health support, enhanced connection and belonging, improved mental health and well-being, strengthened resilience and coping skills, and long-term impact on community health. Through the Radiant Roots program, we aspire to create lasting positive changes in the lives of Black mothers and their families, promoting mental health equity and empowerment.

Every Meal – $15,000

Initiative Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Initiative Cause Areas: Family Empowerment Programs; Mental Health; Women Empowerment Programs

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 02 Zero Hunger; 04 Quality Education

Initiative Description: North Minneapolis is an area with great possibilities alongside the great needs produced by systemic inequalities that shape food accessibility. North Minneapolis is a federally designated food desert which has now been exacerbated by the closings of an Aldi and Walgreens in 2023, two locations where residents could purchase affordable and healthy groceries. This has left only two grocery stores for the almost 70,000 residents in North Minneapolis. Our Weekend Meal Program provides a direct solution to children experiencing food insecurity by distributing a 4-5 pound tailored meal bag that is sent home with students every Friday to combat the “weekend food gap” when students do not have access to school meals. We are what is typically known as a “backpack program,” but we are anything but typical. Every Meal is a mobile delivery solution, getting food to kids right where they are – at school. Our culturally tailored bag types include varieties for East African, Latino/a, and Southeast Asian dietary preferences. Our situational tailored bag has ready-to-eat items that require little or no preparation and is often utilized by families experiencing housing insecurity or with adults who work during the evenings. The final bag offers the widest variety of foods. We provide different menus within the 5 food bag types – with a total of 20 menus – so that children can have variety in what they eat each week. Our request would be used to support the Weekend Meal program in 5 schools in North Minneapolis. Across these schools, 237 students are enrolled. It costs $368 to provide a student with food bags for a school year, thus the cost to serve these students who requested our meal bags is $87,216. As we look to partner again with these schools next school year, we respectfully ask the members of the Legacy Collective to grant us $29,072, or one-third of the cost to help these kids.

Initiative Impact: Every Meal plans to distribute approximately 36,308 meals to these North Minneapolis schools. Our outcomes are assessed through surveys and feedback from school staff and participating families. In last years survey, schools reported a positive impact in the following areas : academic performance (75%), self-esteem (75%), attendance (64%), behavior (59%), attention in class (67%), relationships between students and staff (79%), and relationships between school and families (87%). These impacts were highlighted by the site coordinator at a North Minneapolis school, “Food security is SO important for our families and scholars. It is such a basic element that helps students thrive.”

We are partnering with University of South Carolina to further study the impact of our Weekend Meal Programs on families’ resources, family functioning, social interactions, and child school functioning. We are excited to use these learnings to make evidence-informed decisions about our programs.

Miracle Foundation – $15,000

Initiative Location: Austin, Texas

Initiative Cause Areas: Family Empowerment Programs; Foster Care and Adoption Services; Mental Health

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 01 No Poverty; 03 Good Health & Well-Being

Initiative Description: Miracle Foundation’s innovative technology tool, FosterShare®, accelerates our work, ensuring stable placements for children and driving systemic change in the child welfare system. Miracle is implementing a US state strategy to impact foster children, at-risk families, and youth transitioning out of the system. Statistics highlight the urgent need for intervention, as children in foster care move an average of seven times. This disrupts their lives and results in significant educational setbacks and numerous enduring challenges. Case manager and foster family retention are significant factors, with 40% of case managers and up to 50% of foster families leaving within the first year. Each time a child moves to a new case manager, the chances of finding a permanent placement decrease significantly. The children pay the cost. FosterShare® is a versatile app available on phone and desktop, functioning online and offline, and accessible in English and Spanish. FosterShare® simplifies processes, enhances communication, and offers real-time AI support for foster families, case managers, and child placement agencies. Its user-friendly features, such as easy logging and efficient information retrieval, reduce the workload for foster families and case managers, leading to decreased turnover and a more stable environment for the children. FosterShare® revolutionizes foster care operations, assisting improved communication within the community. It empowers foster families by providing them with critical support, enabling them to create stable and nurturing environments for foster children.

Initiative Impact: The end goal is to stabilize children in care.

Success Metrics:

  • Reduction in Child Movement: Measuring the decrease in the number of placements for children in foster care indicates improved stability.
  • Informative Behavior Logs: Utilizing behavior logs as critical evidence to advocate for trauma-informed services and a higher level of care.
  • Reduction in Case Manager Turnover: Assisting with job satisfaction and effectiveness.
  • Reduction in First-time Foster Parent Turnover: Providing better support to decrease turnover.
  • Time Saved: Contributing to increased efficiency.

Root Capital – $15,000

Initiative Location: Lima, Peru

Initiative Cause Areas: Community and Economic Development; Farming and Agriculture; Women Empowerment Programs

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 05 Gender Equality

Initiative Description: Root Capital believes that the most effective way to advance economic empowerment for women in agriculture is to ensure they have equal access to finance, markets, knowledge, and growth opportunities as their male counterparts. Providing enterprises with financing creates reliable incomes and job security for women producers and employees. Through targeted advisory services, Root Capital builds women’s professional skills to better unlock individual potential, thereby supporting businesses to become more gender-inclusive. Root Capital launched the Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) to: ensure that agricultural enterprise clients could address the inequalities faced by women in rural areas; enable women to benefit equally from the agricultural economy; and activate the perspectives and talents of women as farmers, skilled employees, and leaders. Through the WAI, Root Capital has become a sector leader in investment strategies that prioritize women and gender-inclusive programming in agricultural businesses. To date, Root Capital has disbursed $545M in loans to over 250 gender-inclusive businesses, reaching over 554,000 women producers, 14,000 women employees, and 106 women entrepreneurs. Looking ahead, with the WAI as a core pillar of Root Capital’s 2021-25 Strategic Plan, Root Capital aims to disburse over $100M annually to gender-inclusive businesses by 2025.

Initiative Impact: This grant will bolster Root Capital’s efforts to empower women in agriculture, enhancing economic stability and community well-being. It aims to boost incomes and secure employment for women and their families, thus enriching community prosperity. This funding will also strengthen women-led farms and businesses by providing essential skills for managing agricultural and business challenges effectively. Root Capital will offer targeted training to improve financial and operational management skills, innovative farming techniques, and resource optimization. These initiatives are designed to help women navigate market and environmental challenges, ensuring sustainable business practices. Ultimately, this grant will promote economic resilience and long-term prosperity for women in agriculture, contributing to broader community stability.