• $689,540 Awarded in fall grants to local organizations
  • Building a community wide effort to assure all babies have a safe place to sleep, combating SUIDS
  • $500,000 GusNIP matching grant awarded to St. Joe to help SNAP families buy fresh produce
  • In the news: St. Joe featured by U.S. Census Bureau and the Journal Gazette
  • 2021 Prenatal and Infant Care directories available
Investing in organizations that serve the vulnerable
Fall 2020 Grantee Super Shot (Left) was started by Sr. Mary Conrad Kirchoff, PHJC, who helped organize the first "Super Shot Saturday" to improve local child vaccination rates.

Fall 2020 Grantee Courageous Healing (Right) focuses on mental health healing, especially in the local African American community. The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is one of the original funders of Courageous Healing.
Foundation Update:
$689,540 Awarded in fall grants to local organizations
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation's Board of Directors approved $689,540 in fall grants to 28 local organizations who focus on serving vulnerable individuals in Allen County with quality, compassionate care. Including these fall grants, the Foundation has awarded $22,411,836, in 1,560 grants, to 245 organizations over the past 22 years.

After listening to the community in 2019, the St. Joe Foundation responded by focusing its resources into four impact areas: prenatal and infant care, refugees & immigrants, nutrition & food insecurity, and access to quality, affordable healthcare.

According to Meg Distler, Executive Director, "These impact areas also exemplify areas that our sponsor, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, have prioritized since they first began ministry in Fort Wayne in 1868. Occasionally, as a ministry we also respond when we are particularly aware of God's call to bring hope to other extremely vulnerable communities, just as the Sisters have always done. With the current COVID crisis, the Foundation has been particularly responsive in awarding grants for food insecurity, due to the 40% increase in food needs." In addition to the spring and fall grants, the Foundation has also awarded nearly $100,000 in emergency grants for COVID-related needs in 2020.

The St. Joe Foundation’s Board of Directors approved the following grants for Fall 2020:
Impact Area - Nutrition & Food Insecurity:
  • Community Harvest Food Bank - $30,000
  • The Franciscan Center - $5,000
  • Heart of the City Mission Foundation - $12,500
  • Miss Virginia's Food Pantry - $15,000
  • Blessings in a Backpack - $10,000
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cathedral Conference - $1,000
Impact Area - Prenatal & Infant Care:
  • Women's Care Center - $50,000
  • A Hope Center - $40,000
  • Healthier Moms and Babies - $20,000
  • Associated Churches - $5,000
  • Young Life - $16,000
  • Lutheran Social Services - $20,000
  • A Mother's Hope - $20,000
  • Mirro Center/Parkview Health - $10,000
Impact Area - Refugees & Immigrants:
  • Center for Nonviolence - $20,000
  • Brightpoint/LSN - $5,000
Impact Area - Access to Quality Affordable Healthcare:
  • Matthew 25 Medical - $60,000
  • Matthew 25 Dental - $60,000
  • Super Shot Clinics - $70,000
  • Super Shot Community Health Campaign - $75,000
  • The Carriage House - $25,000
  • Courageous Healing - $25,000
  • Hope Alive - $5,000
  • The Lighthouse - $5,000
  • The Lutheran Foundation / Latino Mental Health - $10,000
  • YWCA Therapeutic Addictions Recovery - $20,040
  • St. Anne Communities - $5,000
Impact Area - Responding to God's Call to Partner with the Spirit:
  • Bridge of Grace - $10,000
  • United Front - $5,000
  • YMCA - $35,000
Supporting new parents and families
Photo by Kristi Hosier Photography for Healthier Moms and Babies.
Foundation Program: Prenatal & Infant Care Network
Building a community wide effort to assure all babies have a safe place to sleep, combating SUIDs

By Angela Stanley

Indiana’s infant mortality rate has been under the microscope in recent years as parts of the state, like Allen County, continuously rank higher than the national average. Birth defects, prematurity and low birth weight, and maternal health are all leading causes of infant mortality, but one of the most difficult causes of death for parents and healthcare providers is when a seemingly healthy baby dies unexpectedly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) is a term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1 year old in which the cause was not obvious before investigation.” Often these types of deaths happen because of unsafe sleep practices.
Responding to Food Insecurity and Nutrition Needs
Foundation Program: SNAP Incentive Project
St. Joe Foundation awarded $500,000 GusNIP grant
by USDA to help SNAP families buy fresh produce
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded $32,000,000 toward healthy food access nationwide, and the St. Joe Foundation is the first in Indiana to receive funds! Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grants are awarded to projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

This four-year, $500,000 matching grant will provide funds to enable SNAP recipients to double-up purchasing power to buy fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. "This grant really changes the landscape for SNAP recipients, and we could not be more excited to expand our double-up program," said Laura Dwire, Community Programs Manager for the St. Joe Foundation. To read the announcement and access a list of all winners, click here

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation has been doubling Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) produce vouchers and SNAP purchases at HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) Farm Markets since 2015. HEAL, co-sponsored by St. Joe Foundation and Parkview Health, was established to address access barriers to healthy foods in low income, low access neighborhoods.
In the news
The St. Joe Foundation commissioned the Allen County, IN Vulnerable Populations Study: A Review of Demographic, Socioeconomic and Poverty Indicators, in 2018 to better understand the needs of the community they serve, in order to know and assist the most vulnerable people in Allen County.
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation uses ACS data to identify populations in need
The St. Joe Foundation has been recognized nationally by the United States Census Bureau for the Foundation's commissioning of the Vulnerable Populations Study with Purdue University Fort Wayne's Community Research Institute.
Foundation in the news: Journal Gazette
Bolstering area's foundation in months of crisis
The Journal Gazette recently published an article describing the various responses of local foundations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meg Distler, Executive Director of the St. Joe Foundation, joined other foundation leaders in expressing the efforts of their foundations to support essential organizations in Allen County.
Assuring everyone has access to care
Foundation update:
Free Prenatal & Infant Care Resource Directories
now available
The 2021 version of the Prenatal & Infant Care Resource Directory is available! These directories are provided by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation to connect local families with over 80 free and low-cost health care resources. Paperback directories can be ordered for free by individuals or by agencies, to be distributed to clients. These resources will also be updated soon on www.HealthCareDirectory.org.
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.