Photo: Michael D. Pitman/Staff
Photo: Michael D. Pitman/Staff

How 5 community groups would spend $10K they’re asking from Fairfield

Fairfield Community Foundation, Fairfield Food Pantry, Partners in Prime, the Fairfield YMCA and the Fairfield Prevention Coalition are seeking a portion of the $36,000 the city allocates for community grants every year.

The city has issued grants to community organizations for years but capped the amount at $36,000 in 2013, said Finance Director Scott Timmer.

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“The first two years (since it was lowered), we gave that out,” he said. “In the last handful of years, we did not receive requests to fulfill the $36,000. That is not the trend this year.”

The Community Foundation said it would use the grant funds to upgrade its computer software and hardware, and foundation President Linda Yarger said it’s “at the end of life of what we currently have.”

“Without your ongoing support, we cannot do what we do for the community,” she said.

The foundation, which celebrates 20 years in operation this year, has received grant funding in the past, including $10,000 in 2017 to 2019. Its strategic plan focuses on education, drug prevention and homelessness.

The Fairfield Food Pantry, which was started 22 years ago, has also received $10,000 in past years.

According to its submission, more than 8,500 people through September have been served by the Fairfield Food Pantry, and it expects to serve 11,000 to 12,000 people by the end of this year. In recent years, the pantry served about 10,000 people annually.

Officials say the new location on Donald Drive, which is closer to Fairfield schools and is more visible, is part of the cause of the increase. School principals are also sending names of underprivileged families.

The pantry’s main revenue sources are its annual 5K walk and run, grants and donations, and it receives food from food drives and Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste program.

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Partners in Prime, which is based in Hamilton but serves Fairfield, has received between $8,000 and $10,000 in the past five years.

“Your continued support ensures we are able to continue to serve the older adult residents in their homes and in their communities, and provide transportation,” said Kim Neal Davis, director of Development at Community First Solutions, the parent organization for Partners in Prime.

From January to September this year, there have been:

• 219 Fairfield residents who are Elements Wellness Center members

• 169 Fairfield residents use the Community First pharmacy

• 17,931 meals delivered to 116 clients

• 4,105 transportation trips provided to 443 clients either to Fairfield residents are non-residents transported into the city; and

• 629 hours of service to residents through home services department.

Greater Miami Valley YMCA, which has a branch location on Bibury Road in the city, is looking for funding for its accessibility project, said Ed O’Brien, Fairfield YMCA executive director.

“The Great Miami Valley YMCA strives to bring programming inclusive of all participants, including children and families with developmental disabilities,” he said.

The grant would help the YMCA become 100 percent handicap accessible.

The Fairfield Prevention Coalition’s 10-year federal grant will expire in mid-2020, said Deb Neyer, Fairfield Prevention Coalition executive director.

The coalition, which has a $150,000 annual budget, has helped reduce drug and alcohol use by the city’s youth, and in the past 10 years the coalition has reduced:

• underage tobacco use by 73 percent

• prescription drug abuse by 53 percent

• underage alcohol use by 41 percent

• marijuana use by 29 percent

“Prevention is the most effective way to make a dent in the drug problem,” said Lou Silverberg, coalition board member.

He also said every $1 invested in prevention efforts can reduce the costs related to substance abuse by an average of $18.

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