This October, three area non-profits received a transformational grant from Impact 100 TC. Each received $101,333 in order to expand their organization’s impact in the communities they serve.
Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resources (K.A.I.R.) was a grant recipient this year. K.A.I.R is a community-based volunteer organization that assists the needy residents of the Kalkaska County area in need. During the Impact 100 TC annual voting ceremony on October 23, K.A.I.R. executive director Cathy Somes spoke to Impact 100 members about the initiative to create a community meal program that will feed 600 people every month.
The K.A.I.R. Story
Earnestly addressing the crowd of Impact 100 TC members, Cathy Somes explained the severity of food insecurity in Kalkaska County. Though K.A.I.R. has served more than 175,000 people more than 3.5 million pounds of food, Somes said, “It is still not enough.” Twenty-seven percent of children living in Kalkaska County are faced with poverty, and lack of nutritional foods is contributing to childhood obesity and chronic health problems.
Somes shared that she was below the poverty line for most of her life, and this led her to help others escape similar situations of emotional and physical stress. “It is only by helping someone else that we can truly better ourselves,” said Somes.
The Grant’s Impact
K.A.I.R.’s existing programs, such as the food pantry and utility assistance, can be significantly bolstered with a new community meal program. So the Impact 100 TC grant, Somes said, could benefit thousands of people in many ways. The meal program will provide wholesome meals, at no cost, to individuals and families in need, as well as healthy and cost-efficient recipe suggestions in order to promote a healthier community.
Somes concluded by telling the women of Impact 100 TC, “I want you to know how full my heart is. […] This is a tremendous opportunity and a journey I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
No doubt, the members of Impact 100 TC will remember those powerful words. They inspired our votes for this important organization to become a grant recipient.
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