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Fresno Regional Foundation Awards Human Services Grants in the Central Valley

Fresno, CA - November 19, 2008 - The Fresno Regional Foundation awarded more than $125,000 to fund capacity-building activities for organizations throughout the Central Valley with programs and services in social, education, economic, and health arenas.

With the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, $45,000 was awarded to programs that address air quality.  Valley Public Television received $20,000, California State University (CSU), Fresno Foundation received $15,000 and West Fresno Health Care Coalition received $10,000.

Valley Public Television's Air Quality Reports for Kids will air during the top rated PBS KIDS programming.  Fifteen-second messages will report daily air quality utilizing six categories and corresponding colors-from good and green to hazardous and maroon.

Through its newly formed Institute of Climate Change, Oceans and Atmosphere, CSU, Fresno Foundation's Communicating Climate Change program will work with Fresno Metro Ministry to develop and implement an educational tool for communicating with Fresno area residents on how climate change and air quality are related.

West Fresno Health Care Coalition will work with the American Lung Association's Master Home Environmentalist program to increase asthma education, awareness and resources for youth and families in the West Fresno community. 

In 2007, the Hewlett Foundation made a $1.4 million grant to the Fresno Regional Foundation to tackle two of the most pressing issues in the Central San Joaquin Valley: Teen Pregnancy and Air Quality. Over the next three years, the Fresno Regional Foundation will disburse the bulk of this $1.4 million to local nonprofit organizations throughout the region.

"In our effort to improve the quality of life in the Central Valley, the Fresno Regional Foundation is committed to making smart grant making decisions," said Dan DeSantis, CEO of Fresno Regional Foundation.  "We are grateful to the Hewlett Foundation for supporting our work and will continue servicing organizations who are working to improve and build their capacity."

Thirteen other organizations received a broad-spectrum of human services grants totaling $81,507, not related to air quality.  They include: Break the Barriers ($6,000), Chicano Youth

Center ($10,000), Community Food Bank ($10,000), Exceptional Parents Unlimited ($8,000), Farmersville Senior Citizens ($9,750), Focus Forward ($3,500), Foothills Community Mediation Center ($3,500), Fresno Rescue Mission ($5,000), Hinds Hospice ($10,000), Howard Watkins Photographic Archive Fund ($2,000), National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California Chapter ($4,097), Poverello House ($5,660) and Sisterhood of Survivors ($4,000).

Farmersville Senior Citizens and the Chicano Youth Center are just two examples of the various human services programs receiving funding through the Fresno Regional Foundation. Farmersville Senior Citizens Senior Meal Program is a popular weekday meal program that feeds local seniors. Previous funding from the Kings and Tulare Area Agency on Aging was recently discontinued, so the funds from this grant will pay for half of the groceries and supplies needed to continue the program for one year.  With the recent opening of their new location, the Chicano Youth Center will use funding to expand their network of community partners and volunteers by building their capacity and focusing on internal communications, record-keeping and monitoring to strengthen the spectrum of services offered at the center.

Recent grants made by the Fresno Regional Foundation have supported local non-profits working on a range of Central Valley priorities including arts and culture, youth development, and teen pregnancy prevention. 

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