New Grants Total $635,000

Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees recently approved grants totaling $635,000 to the following nonprofit organizations in Kent County.

Catherine’s Health Center received $100,000 to help the organization refurbish and move into the currently vacant St. Alphonsus School. Catherine’s Health Center provides free or low-cost services to people who are uninsured or underinsured. Staffed by volunteer physicians and VISTA workers, the Center currently serves 450 patients per month. In its new space this number is expected to grow to 1,300 patients per month.

Kent/Michigan State University Extension was awarded $300,000 to leverage county funding, as well as support from other foundations and federal grants, to preserve 2,250 acres of farmland in Kent County over the next three years through the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program.

Kent Intermediate School District was awarded $150,000 to continue the work of the Kent School Services Network (KSSN). This program brings health and human service providers into schools so families can get help in one place. A three-year pilot of KSSN has shown improvements in students MEAP test scores and a notable decline in chronic absenteeism. The program is now planning for significant expansion.

Kent Intermediate School District also received $50,000 to conduct a study of students defined as at-risk of not graduating from high school because of their failure to complete the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Midtown Neighborhood Association was awarded $35,000 for costs associated with designing improvements to the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation supports Kent County (Michigan) nonprofits and leads the community in making positive, sustainable change. Its success is connected to the generosity of donors and the expertise of grantee organizations. For more information, please visit