The Initiative Foundation and its partner funds announced 108 grants totaling more than $746,000 were awarded during the first quarter of 2019

"We are proud to support local organizations that are doing good for those they serve," stated Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president, in a news release. "During the first quarter of 2019, we supported activities related to workforce development, leadership, housing, education and more. All will further enhance the quality of life in our 14 counties."

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Area nonprofits receiving grants include:

• Region Five Development Commission-Food Co-op Peer-to-Peer Audit: $1,500 to support a Humphrey Institute graduate student to conduct a peer-to-peer audit of six food cooperatives in central Minnesota to identify and share best practices with respect to layout, inventory, marketing and other retail variables.

• Rural Renewable Energy Alliance-Community Solar for Community Action: $5,000 to support development of a community-owned solar array in Little Falls, which will provide energy assistance to income-eligible veteran families and demonstrate a long-term approach to energy insecurity.

• Sourcewell-28th Annual Students of Character Celebration: $1,000 to provide sponsorship an event to award scholarships to outstanding students in Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.

• Advocates Against Domestic Abuse-Strategic Planning: $2,000 to support staff and board engagement in strategic visioning.

• Lakes Area Senior Activity Center-Aging Community Outreach: $5,000 to support outreach efforts to income-eligible individuals and veterans to connect, participate in healthy activities and engage with their community.

• Cass County Economic Development Corp.-Succession Planning and Technical Assistance, Multi-County Approach: $5,000 to help businesses and social enterprise ventures with succession planning, education and technical assistance. This project is in partnership with Todd County.

• Todd County Development Corp.-Succession Planning and Technical Assistance: $5,000 to provide training and technical assistance to help businesses and social enterprise ventures with succession planning. This project is in partnership with Cass County.