First Federal Foundation awards $340K in spring grants

Recipients provide community support, address housing availability

PORT ANGELES — The First Federal Community Foundation announced earlier this month it provided $340,000 in funding for 13 regional nonprofits in the foundation’s spring 2020 grant cycle.

Recipients are organizations in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Whatcom counties that provide community support, address the availability of housing, and deliver community and economic development projects.

“These counties have significant needs, particularly exacerbated by the coronavirus,” said Jan Simon, the foundation’s executive director.

Norman J. Tonina, First Federal Community Foundation board chair, said the foundation focused on the emergency response funds that community foundations are spearheading in the four-county region to address the COVID-19 crisis.

“These foundations have their finger on the pulse of the community’s needs and a nimble, effective approach to delivering critical funds for the greatly increased needs for food, shelter, childcare and more,” Tonina said. “We appreciate their leadership, and we are pleased to support them in their efforts.”

Simon noted that, since the grant program was launched in January 2015, the foundation has provided $4,016,500.

Among the grants are $100,000 in COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, with $25,000 going to each of the four counties. On the North Olympic Peninsula, the Clallam Community Foundation and Jefferson Community Foundation each received $25,000.

Four other Peninsula agencies received grants. They are described by the First Federal Community Foundation as:

• Trinity United Methodist Church: $50,000 to make the 149 year-old building fully ADA compliant, doubling the number of community service organizations benefiting from their free and affordable function space, and continuing to serve as the only infant and drop-in childcare facility in Port Townsend.

• Jefferson County Farmers Markets Association: $10,000 to strengthen the food security of those with low incomes by offering a dollar-for-dollar match when shoppers use SNAP or other food assistance currencies to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at any of seven farmers markets in Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap counties.

• North Olympic Foster Parent Association: $5,000 to update the clothing closet with new and necessary items, purchase backpacks and school supplies, and furnish items needed for the annual Holiday Dinner, all in support of Clallam County’s foster children and foster families.

• Port Angeles Food Bank: $10,000 to support the food bank in optimizing their operations, developing staff and board capacity, and growing their volunteer program in preparation for an expected increase in usage caused by the pandemic as well as the food bank’s upcoming move and facility expansion.

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