Worcester – As it does each year, the Reliant Medical Group Foundation has distributed thousands of dollars in grants to non-profits across Central Massachusetts which share in the Foundation’s mission to improve the health and well-being of those who live in the region. This latest round of giving totals $50,000 spread across 18 organizations from Fitchburg to Webster.
“The Foundation continues to see incredible support from our donors, which allows us to maintain the ability to grant at really strong levels,” said Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “Our recipients in this round feature a nice mix of programs, all of which share the common denominator of providing access to critical nutrition and wellness programs that many Central Massachusetts families so desperately need.”
For several years, the primary focus for the Foundation has been battling childhood obesity. The grants allow the Foundation to connect the generosity of its community to sustainable efforts that target childhood obesity, increase access to care, fill insurance gaps for Reliant patients, and encourage healthy living for all. Community grants are awarded to non-profit organizations within Reliant Medical Group’s service area to help improve the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in the Central and Metro West regions of Massachusetts.
Since its grant-making program was refocused in 2008, Reliant Foundation has funded programs at 55 local charities, impacting more than 100,000 individual lives annually. With this latest round of giving, 18 local organizations received funding from the Foundation:
- Bancroft School/Worcester Partnership – helping underserved children from Elm Park Community School gain access to a healthy living curriculum during the school year and through summer programs
- Boys & Girls Club of Lunenberg – health and fitness for children in grades 6 – 10 to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent or address obesity using the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 model
- Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley – nutrition, health and fitness program promoting healthy lifestyles to battle childhood obesity to children and youth aged 6 – 18; also incorporates the Healthy Habits program and cooking classes
- Boys & Girls Club of Worcester – health, nutrition and fitness for children and youth aged 8-18 encouraging kids to eat smart, keep fit and form positive relationships; includes cooking instruction and free meals on weeknights for low-income kids
- Children’s Haven – Healthy Habits after school program in Worcester and Douglas that was started by a Reliant patient and uses the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 curriculum
- Community Harvest Project – Sprouting Minds Nutrition Education Programs for urban youth; incorporates nutrition education and the opportunity to learn how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables
- Family Health Center of Worcester – program provides the diverse, low-income populations of Main South and surrounding areas the education required to make healthy food and free time choices using the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 model in four of the Worcester public schools
- Friendly House – F.U.N. (Fitness and Understanding Nutrition) after-school program to promote making healthy lifestyle choices in regards to exercise and nutrition
- Girls, Inc. – Fit Girls program, offering 250 girls in grades K-12 the opportunity to participate in sports and physical fitness programming in addition to nutrition education classes
- Jeremiah’s Inn – Funding for the nutrition center at Jeremiah’s Inn to improve the nutrition level of and health outcomes for center clients
- Nativity School of Worcester – Healthy Living Initiative with hands-on activities for inner city low-income middle school boys
- Our Father’s House – wellness program for homeless women with substance abuse issues in the Fitchburg area
- Rachel’s Table – Children’s Milk Fund for low-income kids, estimated to distribute 710 gallons of fresh milk to 21 agencies this year
- Rainbow Child Development Center – Commit to Be Fit – Healthy Lifestyle Program for families of preschool children; multi-faceted program that includes gardening, cooking, nutrition education and fitness for the children and their families
- Reliant Medical Group Pediatrics Department – Newborn Education Initiative, providing new parents with an important tool to raise a healthy baby and young child, the Caring for your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5 guidebook, available in English and Spanish
- Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services – expansion of Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 curriculum in 4 elementary schools and 2 middle schools
- United Neighbors of Fitchburg/Cleghorn Neighborhood Center – Youth-wellness program at a Fitchburg-based after-school program serving ages 5-18
- Worcester Youth Center – Snacking Toward a Healthier Life offers healthy snacks to hungry kids ages 14-24 who come to WYC for programming
In 2016, the Reliant Foundation will be moving to a single grant cycle to be held in the fall. The next deadline to apply for community grants will be Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Updated information on proposal guidelines will be available by the end of 2015.