Rhode Island Foundation awards nearly $300,000 to nonprofits serving Newport County residents

Nonprofit organizations serving Newport County residents will share nearly $300,000 in grants through the Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund (NCF). The funding will support a host of activities ranging from emergency housing and distance learning to food pantries and job training.

“In a time marked by the impact of COVID-19 on everyday life, we’re fortunate to have the resources to assist organizations that are on the frontlines of leading the recovery in Newport County,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are grateful for the donors who make it possible for us to support nonprofits that are well-positioned to respond every day to community needs, particularly in this uniquely challenging period.”

Child & Family, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and Meals on Wheels are among the 39 organizations that will share the funding.

Child & Family of Newport County in Middletown received $10,000 to provide case management services for families enrolled in its Supportive Housing Program. As many as 12 families, or 45 individuals, will directly benefit from the program.

“Our focus on connecting families to care is what makes our program successful in keeping families together and keeping children out of the costly child welfare system,” said Marty Sinnott, president and CEO.

The program provides parents with wraparound case management and access to a continuum of care that provides the resources necessary for them to secure permanent housing and improve the overall health and wellbeing of their families.

“We are uniquely positioned to provide families with the support they need to either avoid contact with the child welfare system, or successfully reunify parents with children who have been placed in foster care due to lack of stable housing,” said Sinnott.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport received $10,000 to support the academic, emotional and social success of students in its after-school and summer camp programs, which serve students from all over Newport County.

“While our childhood education programs are known for their caring, high-quality and affordability for working families, nevertheless many families are still unable to afford weeklong care. We make programs accessible for low-income families, especially those who don’t qualify for state subsidies but still struggle,” said Heather Hole Strout, executive director.

The Out-of-School Programs provide literacy and math enrichment, physical fitness, music, theater, nutrition and STEAM education, and field trips among other activities.

“Investments in our childcare programs allow us to continue offering subsidies as they are needed, ensuring at-risk children are benefitting from our supportive programs,” said Hole Strout.

Meals on Wheels received $5,000 to support its work providing home-delivered meals to Newport County seniors and other homebound adults. In 2020, organization served nearly 30,000 meals, a nearly 30 percent increase compared to 2019.

“Every meal delivery represents a time when a client received a vital well-being check and a critical opportunity for socialization that directly works to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness associated with their homebound status,” said Meghan Grady, executive director.

The organization’s Home-Delivered Meal Program directly addresses the issues of food insecurity, safety and social isolation that are linked to negative health outcomes and loss of independent living for homebound adults.

“Our overall goal is to enable Newport County seniors and other homebound residents to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible,” said Grady.

The other recipients include Aquidneck Community Table, God’s Community Garden in Portsmouth, the Jamestown Community Food Pantry, the Little Compton Community Center, Sankofa Community Connection in Newport, Turning Around Ministries in Newport and the YMCA of Newport County. The full list of recipients is posted at rifoundation.org.

The NCF awards grants of up $10,000 to strengthen or expand established programs, to support policy or advocacy efforts on behalf of community concerns, to fund new projects that focus on significant problems or opportunities, and to leverage strategic collaborations and partnerships. In making the funding decisions, the Foundation worked with an advisory committee comprised of residents from every community in Newport County.

Established in 2002, the NCF has awarded nearly $5 million in grants for programs and services for residents of Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton. It is just one of the grant programs that enable the Foundation to serve Newport County communities.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.


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