Superior Health Foundation grants over $739,000 to UP nonprofits

The SHF gave the money to battle food insecurity and assist with physical and mental health care at a ceremony Wednesday night.
Superior Health Foundation
Superior Health Foundation(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 10:53 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Superior Health Foundation (SHF) awarded 27 UP nonprofits and businesses with grant money during a ceremony on Wednesday night at the Marquette Holiday Inn.

The SHF gave over $739,000 to health care groups, mental health care groups and groups combatting food insecurity.

“We play an integral role in helping health-centered nonprofits across the Upper Peninsula,” SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie said.

LaJoie continued by praising the adversity of many of these groups.

“They have been through a lot in these last couple of years with funding cuts, budget cuts, staffing issues and more,” he said. “Any time we are in a position where we can help nonprofits with their mission and put them in a position to succeed it is a win-win for us.”

The Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) is one of eight nonprofits who received money specifically focused on combatting food insecurity. UPCAP claimed $322,388.36 to benefit its Food as Medicine (FAM) program. The program gives food-insecure residents, who have or are at risk of developing a chronic health condition, access to locally-grown produce.

LaJoie noted that programs like FAM are critically important in Upper Michigan.

“One in seven people in the Upper Peninsula have food insecurity issues,” LaJoie said. “The types of grants that we are doing to provide food vouchers, to provide education, to provide those resources and to be able to give healthy food to those in need is so incredibly important for the body and mind.”

Five nonprofits received pilot project and equipment grants totaling $11,823.06. Meanwhile, 14 groups received a total of $195,688.44 in fall grants.

These 19 businesses are primarily health centered according to LaJoie. Of these groups, Great Lakes Recovery Centers (GLRC) received the most money, totaling $58,405. GLRC officials said they will use this money to expand access to behavioral and mental health services for U.P. children and teens.

LaJoie added that selecting the groups to receive funding was difficult.

“We carefully and judiciously review these applications,” LaJoie explained. “We go through a process with our grants committee and we provide that funding to those organizations that we know are going to steward those funds in an effective way.”

LaJoie concluded that Wednesday’s ceremony was part of a two-year initiative to donate over $1 million to address food insecurity, mental and physical health care.

In addition to GLRC and UPCAP, a number of other non-profits received funding. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA)
  • Courage Incorporated
  • Michigan Breastfeeding Network
  • Dial Help, Inc.
  • HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response
  • Aspirus Health
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Eversight
  • The Lakes Community Health Center, Inc.
  • Camp New Day UP
  • Mercy Medical Angels
  • Munising Public Schools
  • OSF St. Francis
  • Partridge Creek Farm
  • Upper Peninsula Veterans Community Action Team
  • Feeding America West Michigan
  • Food Start U.P.
  • Alger County Commission on Aging
  • Nifty Thrifty
  • Superior Shore Systems

To learn more about the SHF’s mission, you can visit its webpage by clicking here.