Community Center tackles hunger and empowers youth with help from United Fund of Talbot County grant
The St. Michaels Community Center recently announced the receipt of a generous grant from the United Fund of Talbot County, a philanthropic organization that provides economic support to local nonprofits serving the health and human services needs of Talbot County residents.
Mid-Shore Community Foundation manages the grantmaking process for the United Fund, with the collaboration aiming to amplify community partnerships and donations, expanding impactful programs targeting youth development and addressing food insecurity.
“Supporting SMCC’s food support and youth programs is an investment in building strength and resilience in our communities,” stated Robbin Hill, Chief Program Officer of Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
SMCC Executive Director Patrick Rofe expressed gratitude for the Mid-Shore Community Foundation grant, emphasizing its significance in advancing the organization's commitment to empowering futures and nourishing lives.
“This partnership exemplifies how private resources, when connected with public needs, can significantly enhance the quality of life for people in the Mid-Shore region,” he said.
SMCC's flagship initiative, "Empowering Futures," is a transformative youth program designed to empower at-risk and underserved youth. The program provides access to entrepreneurial education and STEM learning opportunities, equipping young individuals with essential skills for future success. This initiative disrupts cycles of disadvantage by fostering self-reliance, problem-solving abilities, and a sense of community.
“The introduction of STEM concepts prepares participants for careers in high-demand fields, fostering innovation and reducing vulnerability to negative influences,” said Rofe. “Our program will also help open pathways to higher education and employment.”
Complementing this initiative is "Nourishing Lives," he says, as part of SMCC’s response to the pressing issue of food insecurity within the community. This comprehensive program provides access to nutritious food and empowers vulnerable populations with essential knowledge and skills for healthy living.
Addressing hunger and offering classes on chronic disease and diabetes self-management, smoking cessation, and nutrition, "Nourishing Lives" can directly improve the well-being of community members. The program reduces health disparities by targeting education on self-management and empowers individuals to make informed choices about their health and nutrition.
“This program also fosters a sense of community and has the potential to reduce long-term healthcare burdens,” says Rofe.
Mid-Shore Community Foundation President W.W. “Buck” Duncan, left, and St. Michaels Community Center Executive Director Patrick Rofe step inside the commercial kitchen in the under-renovation Community Center. SMCC’s "Nourishing Lives," program is a response to the pressing issue of food insecurity within the community. This comprehensive program provides access to nutritious food and empowers vulnerable populations with essential knowledge and skills for healthy living.
Rofe highlighted that these programs represent an expansion of existing initiatives and that SMCC is broadening its food distribution program to reach more people throughout the Bay Hundred area, including offering healthy living classes. The youth program expansion, launching in the renovated building, will now include middle through high school students.
“Together, these initiatives create a brighter, more equitable future for all members of our community,” said Rofe.
Donations to the St. Michaels Community Center, along with the proceeds from its Treasure Cove Thrift Shop, situated at 200 Railroad Ave. in St. Michaels, play a pivotal role in providing essential human services, programs, and community events for people in St. Michaels and the broader Maryland Bay Hundred area.
Learn more about SMCC's initiatives and current building renovations at www.stmichaelscc.org and www.stmichaelscc.org/future.
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