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Willmar Community Foundation OKs funding for area nonprofits

WILLMAR — The Willmar Area Community Foundation has awarded $51,000 to support the programming and growth of nonprofits in Kandiyohi County.

The largest grant of $20,000 will support Community Basics Inc., a local nonprofit known for its weekly community distribution of groceries and basic goods to individuals and families in need throughout Kandiyohi County communities.

Community Basics is a locally administered, collaborative effort of Hope for Our City, located in the Twin Cities, with the Willmar Area Food Shelf as one of several local partners.

“The local leaders and volunteers have worked tirelessly to distribute much needed nutritious food in our community with very few resources,” said Foundation Executive Director Sara Carlson, in a news release. “When we learned about their transportation challenges and need to rent a truck to transport goods from the Twin Cities food bank to Willmar, we wanted to help.”

The foundation’s grants committee of community members awarded a grant to purchase a truck for the local organization.

“This is the largest donation Community Basics Inc. has ever received and we know they will put it to good use and go a long way in serving our community and helping to feed those in need,” said foundation Board Chair Tim Larson said.

Other local grants awarded were:

* $8,000 to Heartland Community Action for Linking with Families program, supporting school readiness and cultural liaisons.

* $5,000 to Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Kandiyohi County to establish the new CEO program for high school students in New London-Spicer, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, and Willmar school districts.

* $5,000 to the Willmar Area Chapter Let’s Go Fishing Minnesota, serving Kandiyohi County seniors, to purchase a boat motor.

* $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity for its new Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

* $5,000 to Atwater Fire Department to purchase rescue equipment.

* $3,000 to Lake Lillian Senior Citizens for community center improvements.

The Willmar Area Community Foundation was founded in 1998 and has since awarded nearly $3.5 million in grants to help regional organizations and individuals give back to their communities. The latest grants were awarded from the general grants fund.