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Published in Nonprofits
Grand Rapids-based Kids’ Food Basket delivered tens of thousands of meals to children in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were ordered to close. Grand Rapids-based Kids’ Food Basket delivered tens of thousands of meals to children in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were ordered to close. COURTESY PHOTO

DTE Foundation awards $350K in grants to West Michigan nonprofits

BY Monday, October 04, 2021 11:28am

The philanthropic arm of Detroit-based utility DTE Energy has awarded more than $350,000 in grants to West Michigan nonprofits to support job readiness, food and education programs.

DTE Energy Foundation announced the funding will be shared among seven area nonprofits with a variety of missions that help support basic needs and education in disadvantaged communities. 

The grants include $125,000 for the Autism Alliance of Michigan’s efforts to expand education and employment opportunities for individuals with autism and $50,000 for Feeding America West Michigan’s work to deliver food and boost food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

“Supporting these organizations will have a multiplier effect in developing our state’s talented people and filling a void where families need it most,” DTE Foundation President Lynette Dowler said in a statement. “Our partners work to directly improve lives through job readiness in their region, bolstering the quality of life for communities. To ensure we have the next generation of skilled and professional workers, we must provide students with excellent training, and the DTE Foundation’s support will create education pathways so people can thrive.”

The Cadillac-based After 26 Project Inc. received a $26,000 grant to support the operation of a cafe and gift shop that employs people with special needs as well as provides job coaches. 

The Grand Rapids Urban League received $10,000 for its Listen Up! program, which connects private sector employers with Kent County students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Also, Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes Inc. received $30,000 to raise student awareness in STEM careers.

Other grant recipients included Kids’ Food Basket ($100,000) to address childhood hunger and the West Michigan Asian American Association Inc. ($10,000) for its Pre-Literacy Program that teaches basic English reading and writing skills.

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