The Foundation for Delaware County Distributes $2.1M in Nonprofit Grants


Foundation nonprofit grants helped the Ruth Bennett Farm where students and staff put food boxes together for their Chester neighbors.
Image via The foundation for Delaware County.
Students and staff at Ruth Bennett Farm put together food boxes for neighbors in Chester.

The Foundation for Delaware County, the largest public charity in the county, has issued its third major round of nonprofit grants to 48 local organizations.

Nonprofit grants were awarded in the following areas:

  • Children’s Health and Well-Being: $1,663,237
  • Economic Development: $123,706
  • Food Security: $214,362
  • Hospice and Home Care: $55,000
  • Cancer: $26,278

The 48 nonprofits address some of Delaware County’s most critical issues, including:

  • Childhood trauma
  •  Post high school planning
  • Health and food insecurity
  •  Housing stability
  • Racial equity and much more.

“Every day, nonprofits serving our county have been on the front lines offering critical services to Delaware County residents, addressing needs that have been dramatically exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Foundation President Frances Sheehan. ”The Foundation for Delaware County is deeply committed to being a resource for local nonprofits and will be here for the long-term.”

COVID-19 Response Fund

The Foundation for Delaware County achieved its goal of raising $1 million for the Delaware County COVID-19 Response Fund. It created and delivered 98 nonprofit grants to local nonprofits to help them in the pandemic.

The most recent grants provided:

  • A free farmers market in Upper Darby to address food insecurity;
  • Housing, budget, and credit counseling for families impacted by the pandemic; and
  • Nutrient-dense produce for children and families through The Ruth Bennett Community Farm in Chester.

Earlier this month, the Delaware County COVID-19 Response Fund issued a significant grant to a network of organizations in Chester. Led by Making a Change Group, the network provided vaccine education. That included outreach about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, The network also coordinated vaccine access for communities of color.

Education from the early years and post-graduation

Foundation grants support early education.

One of the largest Impact Grants was $120,000 over three years to First Up. The nonprofit promotes trauma awareness among early childhood educators.

Educators and families are trained in trauma-informed practices to improve childhood outcomes.

A First Up project, the Flourishing Together initiative, cultivates environments where children can flourish, even amid significant stress and adversity.

“Thanks to the foundation, First Up will be able to work towards creating equity in children’s access to growing, learning, and developing in safe, nurturing environments, both at childcare and at home,” said Carol Austin, Executive Director of First Up.

The foundation funded programs encouraging young people to graduate from high school. Other programs provide post-graduation planning or promote college opportunities.

A $70.000 grant to College Possible over two years provides college access services for high school juniors and seniors from the Penn Wood and Upper Darby School Districts.

The Chester Education Foundation received a $130,000 grant over three years for the Jetter Center for College and Career Services in Chester.

Children’s Health

Grants for Children’s Health included:

  • $180,000 over three years for ChesPenn Health Services.  ChesPenn will provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care to children in Delaware County.
  • $25,000 for Kids Smiles to expand outreach and improve oral health services for low-income children in Delaware County.

Food Security

Upper Darby Corporation for Community and Economic Development received $34,362 to support a collaboration with Centro De Apoyo for a free farmers market and healthy eating project in Upper Darby.

 Wayne Senior Center received a $35,000 grant to provide nutritional safety net services for older adults in the Highland Park neighborhood.

The pandemic has accelerated food insecurities for older adults. 

“Our nutrition program alone has seen over a 250% increase in demand this past year, and we have provided older adults over 35,000 meals to date,” said Katie Mahon, Executive Director of the Wayne Senior Center.

The grant allows the senior center to expand its emergency nutrition program for older adults in the Radnor Township Civic Association neighborhood, “a historically under-served area in Radnor, Delaware County,” Mahon said.

Racial Equity

More than $53K in funding was awarded to organizations offering leadership and training programs that foster racial equity, including:

  • Widener University to support a leadership training and peer sexual health education program that focuses on developing advocates for racial and gender justice
  • Delaware County Community College Educational Foundation to support the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) certificate program to advance community and economic development.

Housing Stability

Funding was given to organizations that provide housing counseling services including:

  • Chester Community Improvement Project (CCIP)
  • Clarifi
  • Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania which will provide legal representation to low-income Delaware County families with children.

These programs and services will help to enhance the foundation’s expanding Housing Stability program.

Hospice and Home Healthcare

The foundation is grateful to The Philadelphia Foundation for enabling grant funding support for homecare and hospice programs that include:

  • Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice
  • Senior Community Services
  • Surrey Services
  • Wayne Senior Center.

More Information

A full list of grants awarded can be found here on The Foundation for Delaware County website.

Here is a 2018 introductory video describing the mission of The Foundation for Delaware County.

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