Junior League of Rockford awarded $10,000 grant

Online Staff Report

The Junior League of Rockford, Inc., has announced it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bengt and Mary Kuller Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL).

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois believes in the transformative power of education,” said James Patterson, the foundation’s grants officer. “Historically, 25 percent of our grant-making has been directed toward educational programming. We are proud to support this collaborative project between Junior League and District 205 as they strive to provide adequate nutrition and academic excellence to the children in our community.”

Grant funds will be used to support the Junior League’s Backpack Buddies program, which provides chronically hungry, low-income elementary school children in the Rockford School District with backpacks filled with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to take home on the weekends when food might not otherwise be available.

Buffy Hiser, president of the Junior League of Rockford, said: “Early results from the first year of the program show that the program is making progress with the children enrolled. Fifty-five percent of parents saw positive changes in behavior and focus in their children in the first semester of the program and more than 60 percent of parents saw an increase in the overall health of their children. We are so grateful for the Community Foundation’s support of the Backpack Buddies program.”

CFNIL is the area’s largest provider of grants and scholarships. Its mission is to attract, grow and preserve an endowment for the needs of the people of northern Illinois.

A vital part of the Rockford community for more than 80 years, The Junior League of Rockford, Inc., is a nonprofit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Past community projects include Ken-Rock Community Center, Discovery Center Museum and Rock River Discovery Park, Domestic Violence Assistance Center, CASA, Stepping Stones, MAYA’s House and RAISE (Reaching and Inspiring Students for Education).

Junior League’s current project is Backpack Buddies, which aims to lessen the consequence of chronic childhood hunger to low-income elementary school children, educate and empower low-income elementary school families with skills, knowledge, and confidence to prepare healthy and affordable meals, and educate low-income elementary school children on healthy food choices and healthy lifestyles.

The Junior League of Rockford, Inc., reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to voluntarism. The Junior League of Rockford, Inc., is a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International.

For more information, visit www.jlrockford.org.

Posted Jan. 15, 2015

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