Last month, the Episcopal Charities Board of Directors recommended three programs for Program Investment Grants. Program Investment Grants fund parish-affiliated outreach programs for capacity building projects that allow existing programs to improve or expand services. Program Investment Grants also provide seed money for new ministries, with a special preference for collaborative projects.
One program recently recommended for funding by our board is the Hudson Link Shawangunk Correctional Facility Computer Lab. Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a program sponsored by Christ’s Church, Rye, provides a college education life skills and re-entry support to incarcerated men and women, helping them change their own lives and make a positive impact on their families and communities, reducing rates of recidivism, incarceration and poverty. A one-year investment grant will help pay for the establishment of a computer lab at Shawangunk Correctional Facility, a maximum security men’s prison located in Ulster County. It will also provide laptop computers to assist Hudson Link alumni with their search for jobs upon release.
Another program recently approved for a Program Investment Grant is the New York Common Pantry, which is opening a new choice pantry in the Bronx. The New York Common Pantry, a program sponsored by Church of the Heavenly Rest, Manhattan is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. In May 2017 NYCP opened a new choice pantry in the South Bronx in collaboration with the Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association. A one-year investment grant will help pay the salary of a site-based Food Programs Manager to help bring the program up to scale. The site will offer bi-weekly food distribution, case management services, benefits assistance, and nutrition education.
Our third Program Investment Grant this year will be going to Christ the King Stone Ridge for their Kitchen Improvement Project. Christ the King is the founder and sponsor of the Rondout Valley Food Pantry, located on church property. A one-year investment grant will help pay for renovations to upgrade the church’s kitchen to bring it into compliance with New York state health code requirements for commercial use. with an onsite commercial kitchen, the Rondout Valley Food Pantry will be able to collaborate with a local grower’s association, whose members will use the kitchen to process and store food. In return, the growers will donate fresh produce to the Pantry, increasing the nutritional value in the food packages provided to low-income Ulster residents. The church also plans to double the number of community meals offered to seniors and other local residents.