Columbia nonprofits receive grant from Missouri Foundation for Health

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Five Columbia nonprofit organizations were awarded grants ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 this summer from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The grants were awarded to “help organizations sustain health care programs that benefit Missourians, especially the uninsured, under-insured and under-served,” said Julie Johnson, spokeswoman for the foundation.

Organizations receiving grant money

Boone County Council on Aging, Columbia: $100,000

Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, Columbia: $100,000

PedNet Coalition, Columbia: $100,000

CHA Low-Income Services, Inc., Columbia: $294,000

Phoenix Programs Inc., Columbia: $300,000

Learning Insights, Holts Summit: $39,180

Montgomery County Council on Aging, Montgomery City: $100,000

YMCA of Callaway County, Fulton: $100,000

Missouri Department of Mental Health (mental health literacy), Jefferson City: $300,000

Missouri Department of Mental Health (quit smoking program), Jefferson City: $44,682


Grants are awarded based on applications from organizations within an 84-county service area, plus the city of St. Louis, Johnson said. Distribution of $1.4 million to 10 organizations in mid-Missouri began in the middle of July.

“We are delighted,” said Jessica Macy, executive director for the Boone County Council on Aging. The council, which helps Columbia's senior citizens live independently, received $100,000.

“The funding is basic support of our operations, and it will go to extend services to senior citizens in the community such as delivering food boxes from the food pantry, providing volunteers and assisting with repairs and home maintenance projects,” Macy said.

The organizations are free to use the money as they see fit, as long as they follow the guidelines they outlined in their application, Johnson said.

“We’re very excited to be a first-time recipient of this type of grant,” said Annie Kuhl, public relations and development manager for the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, which also received $100,000. The foundation does research in blindness and conducts eye care programs and eye banking to restore sight.

“We’re looking forward to expanding both our vision screening program for children and our glaucoma screening program for adults,” Kuhl said.

The Boone County Council on Aging, Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation and PedNet Coalition each received $100,000. CHA Low-Income Services Inc. received $294,000 to conduct violence prevention and behavioral health programs. Phoenix Programs Inc., which works with people and families with addictions, received $300,000.

The Missouri Foundation for Health was founded in 2000 with money that remained when Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri converted from a nonprofit to a profit status. The money had to stay with a nonprofit organization, Johnson explained. Since then, the foundation has awarded approximately $337 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The money comes from the investment income made from the original amount; the foundation does not take any private donations or government money.

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