Foundation boosts businesses, those who
need food assistance during pandemic

TRI-CITY AREA — In hopes to help both families and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the Four County Community Foundation has turned to gift cards.

Recently, the group’s Pro-Active Grant Committee gave $1,000 each to eight area food pantries who, in turn, will purchase gift cards from local restaurants that can be given to residents in need of food assistance, along with the group’s regular food distributions.

“If there ever is a time to help people in need, it’s now,” Chair Ken Hummel told the Pro-Active Grant Committee when they met recently to discuss how to prioritize projects in light of the pandemic.

Among the recipients were Almont First Congregational Church Pantry, Imlay City St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Pantry, Samaritan House in Romeo, and St. Mary Mystical Rose Parish in Armada.

“The Capac Food Pantry and the Richmond Community Food Pantry are in the process of sending in their grant requests,” said Kathy Dickens, the foundation’s director.

“The pantries were very grateful for this outreach.”

Dine-in restaurants were forced to close their doors last month as part of an executive order from the state but take-out and delivery services are still allowed.

Hummel said the committee was pleased that this project could have a two-fold affect and could be administered swiftly.

“What we were trying to do is act quickly and cut out any red tape,” he said, noting that recipients were groups the foundation has worked with in the past.

Hummel said they consider the first distribution a “test run” and they’d like to do a second phase in the near future.

“We also still want to help food pantries in general and we’ve allocated some of our budget for additional grants there,” he added.

As the name suggests, the Pro-Active Grant Committee acts in an almost reverse fashion of traditional grant-making by identifying needs rather than waiting for requests for help. Hummel said the group has considered other ways they might help the community during the pandemic and want to solicit ideas from residents as well.

“Other ideas that our committee had was to help senior citizens restricted to their homes who don’t have access to transportation or food,” he said.

“We’re open to ideas from others around these topics as well.”

If you know of an urgent community need that could be forwarded to the Pro-Active Grant Committee, please contact the foundation at 810-798-0909 or

The Four County Community Foundation provides services to the villages and cities of Almont, Armada, Capac, Dryden, Imlay City, Metamora, Oxford, Richmond and Romeo.