RCCF celebrates 25 years of giving with $25,000 grant to RCCA 19th May 2017 On November 5, 2016, the Rush County Community Foundation celebrated 25 years of giving to Rush County by awarding a $25,000 “Grand Idea” grant award. Selected out of eight competitive applicants, Rush County Community Assistance Food Pantry (RCCA) was awarded funding of $25,000 to assist the purchase of much-needed coolers, refrigerators, and electrical infrastructure at their facility at 109 E. 3rd St. This comprehensive renovation and new equipment will allow the addition of year-round nutritious fruits and vegetables to their food selection. On May 16, 2017, days before the conclusion of the Rush County Community Foundation’s 25th anniversary year, staff, donors, and members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Grants Committee toured the facility to see the improvements made. Grant funding supported upgraded electrical wiring, air conditioner/heating units and a large walk-in cooler, upgrading the facility’s storage and increasing the overall capacity of the pantry. Additionally, the Foundation’s contribution encouraged the electricians to donate some of their time, and the electrical changes enabled new LED lighting to be installed. The improvements made at RCCA have increased the shelf life of perishable goods stored at the facility from 3 days to a week or more. This expanded capacity opened doors beyond expectations for the pantry, as they are now eligible (and in the final phases of approval!) for exclusive federal programs, increasing the amount of perishable goods and produce available for distribution. Since December, the pantry has distributed 2,683 pounds of fruit and 1,380 pounds of vegetables to the (average of) 300 households they serve each month. These numbers will increase substantially as RCCA can now manage expanded program support and local contributions. RCCA board member and volunteer Jennifer Harcourt-Buchanan stated, “The $25,000 grant provided by the Community Foundation has had a snowball effect, opening doors for our clients and our organization that never would have previously been possible. We are now eligible for programs that we never would have been considered for without this expansion.” While considering the impact of the grant dollars, the Foundation saw an opportunity with the Rush County Community Assistance that could improve the overall health of the families that utilize their services. Increasing healthy food consumption will help combat the prevalent health factors of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. The RCCA serves thousands of individuals each month, and 33% of all clients served are children ages 0 to 17. The Foundation believes that making healthy and nourishing foods accessible to this segment of our population could alter the future of their families, and ultimately, could make a dramatic difference in the future health of our community. The Foundation friends that visited Rush County Community Assistance were impressed by the organization’s streamlined processes, quantity and selection of foods, and the caring spirit and dedication of their volunteers. It was rewarding to see funds put towards making an impact on several concerns within our community. In our 25th year of operation, the Rush County Community Foundation recognized several remarkable milestones, awarding its $1 millionth community grant dollar and $10 millionth dollar. In addition, the Foundation recorded the most successful year of contributions, receiving more than $2.6 million in donations and increasing the Foundation’s net assets to $16 million. As we embark on our 26th year and beyond, the Foundation is eager to continue our impact within Rush County. The Board of Directors of the Rush County Community Foundation will be considering opportunities to make a profound difference on community issues as we consider a more strategic, proactive approach to grant funding. The community can anticipate increased partnerships between the Foundation and area not-for-profit entities, providing more resources and a wider network to make an impact on challenges our county and its residents face. While grant funding may take a slightly new approach, the Foundation’s roots will remain true as we continue to be a trusted steward of our donor’s generosity and the place in Rush County that allows legacies to live on through philanthropic funding. Meeting the philanthropic needs of Rush County since 1991, The Rush County Community Foundation, Inc., is a nonprofit public charity established to serve donors, award grants and scholarships, and provide leadership to enrich and enhance the quality of life in Rush County, Indiana, not only today, but for our future generations. For more information please visit or contact the office at 117 N. Main St., Rushville, IN 46173, or call (765) 938-1177.