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 Central Massachusetts.
“Having received a record number of proposals this year, our grants committee very carefully selected recipients based on our mission and primary focus of battling childhood obesity, within the funds we had available,” said Kelsa Zereski, director of philanthropy at Reliant Medical Group. “We are proud to be able to grant more than $100,000 back to programs in our community this fall, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our donors.”
Since its grant-making program was refocused on battling childhood obesity in 2008, Reliant Foundation has funded programs at 55 local charities, annually impacting more than 50,000 individual lives. The following 21 organizations, including six first-time awardees, received a grant in this latest round of giving:
- Bancroft School – Worcester Partnership Program to incorporate daily exercise and nutrition education into a summer enrichment program for Elm Park Community School students.
- Boy Scouts of America Mohegan Council – SCOUTStrong and PALA program focusing on fitness and nutrition training for youth and adults.
- Boys & Girls Club of Lunenberg – Triple Play program to improve the overall physical and emotional health of 6th-10th graders.
- Boys & Girls Club of Webster-Dudley – Triple Play program to improve the overall physical and emotional health of area youth.
- Boys & Girls Club of Worcester – Healthy Habits program that provides health and fitness opportunities to disadvantaged youth, ages 8-18.
- Children’s Haven – Healthy Habits program provides health and fitness education for afterschool students and summer campers in Worcester and Douglas.
- Cleghorn Neighborhood Center – Afterschool Youth Wellness program providing healthy snacks, health and nutrition education, and cooking classes.
- Community Harvest Project – Sprouting Minds project, providing volunteer farming and nutrition education for over 1,000 elementary school children.
- Family Health Center – Elm Park Family Nutrition Program and Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 teaches low-income families of the Elm Park and Main South neighborhoods about nutrition, exercise and healthy living habits.
- Friendly House – F.U.N. (Fitness and Understanding Nutrition) program for teens through weekly afterschool projects and activities.
- Genesis Club – Health and Wellness Initiative expanding to offer adults with mental illness indoor exercise, sports and wellness classes during fall and winter.
- Girls Inc. of Worcester – Fit Girls and Swim & Gym programs, aimed at reducing pediatric obesity by offering regular aerobic exercise and nutrition education classes to over 250 girls.
- Jeremiah’s Inn – Creation of a Nutrition Center at their Food Pantry, which provides emergency food to more than 6,000 low-income households in Main-South and South Worcester neighborhoods.
- Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kids – Providing food kits, including fresh fruit, weekly to over 150 children who are food insecure or homeless.
- Nativity School of Worcester – expansion of Healthy Living Initiative that battles obesity through fitness and nutrition education and innovative programs for middle school-aged boys from low-income, inner-city families.
- Our Father’s House – Wellness, nutrition and exercise program for homeless women living in a sober recovery house in Fitchburg.
- Rainbow Child Development Center – Physical fitness and nutrition program for at-risk children from low-income families.
- Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services – Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 nutrition and exercise program for students at two elementary and two middle schools, and in after-school programs.
- Worcester Jewish Community Center – Born to Move fitness program for children ages 4-15 through early childhood, afterschool and camp programs.
- Worcester Youth Center – Snacking for a Healthier Life program serves healthy daily snacks and monthly dinners to at-risk youth between the ages of 14-24.
- YMCA of Central Massachusetts – Collaboration between Reliant pediatricians, nutrition staff and two YMCA sites helping children and families battle obesity using the “Let’s Go 5210” nutrition and exercise program model.
“Reliant Foundation’s grant-making program extends our health-focused mission throughout the entire community, to benefit local charities and the people they serve,” adds Zereski.
In addition, funds awarded to departments within the nonprofit Reliant Medical Group underwrite patient support projects such as providing new equipment and expanding hours of the Bariatric Boot Camp; giving breast cancer patients comfort and personal care kits; providing free transportation to medical appointments for elderly and low-income patients who otherwise would not have access to care; and implementing the physician-led Reach Out & Read program to encourage early literacy.
The next deadline to apply for community grants is February 6, 2015. Guidelines and information on how to apply can be found at https://reliantfoundation.org/grants/applying.
About Reliant Medical Group Foundation
Established in 1988 as a public charity, Reliant Medical Group Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals of all ages in Central Massachusetts. As the charitable arm of Reliant Medical Group, the Foundation offers grants to non-profit organizations within Reliant’s service area that deliver programs to battle the obesity epidemic, create access to healthcare for underserved populations, and support “Innovations in Healthy Living”, such as early literacy. The Foundation also supports Reliant’s patient needs by delivering targeted funding in service to education, comfort and access to care.