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Community Foundation grants given


Recorder Staff
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Just Roots, Clinical and Support Options and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts are among seven organizations awarded $300,000 in competitive “innovation” planning grants from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

CSO’s $45,000 “Building Resilience by Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools” grant will be used to help schools around Franklin County plan training and policy review that helps sensitize them to student trauma such as teen suicide, which is more prevalent here than for the state as a whole, says CSO Chief Executive Office Karin Jeffers.

The grant, focused on high schools, will help the Mohawk Trail, Frontier, Pioneer, Mahar, Gill-Montague and Franklin County Technical school districts, as well as Greenfield schools, develop more “trauma-informed” cultures.

An outcome will be to apply for an implementation grant to provide staff training and onsite clinical support.

Just Roots received $38,500 for its project, “Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities: Expanding the Community Sustainable Agriculture Model as a Health Intervention.”

The Greenfield nonprofit will examine the barriers that low-income residents in Greenfield face to eating fresh, local food and create a way to help community supported farm operations.

Using three low-income housing projects as a “learning lab,” the grant will help bolster Just Roots’ two-year, federally funded study, “(Im)proving the CSA Model,” to help track the health outcomes of CSA participation, aimed at redirecting health-care funding toward support of local agriculture.

The Food Bank was funded at $48,000 for its “Achieving Hunger Free Communities — Hampden and Franklin counties,” aimed at establishing a seamless network of nutrition assistance and education as well as social services to address food insecurity, and also design a media campaign to debunk myths surrounding hunger and food insecurity, with stories of health issues to raise public awareness of the severity of the problem.