By: Halle Parker, HoumaToday.com
Local nonprofits can apply to receive thousands of dollars in grant money from the Houma-based Bayou Community Foundation through Feb. 20.
The grants aim to fund projects related to human services, education, job training and coastal preservation.
“With awards averaging about $10,000 each, the BCF grants have the potential to make a significant impact on local nonprofit programs and increase the number of people an organization is able to serve,” said Executive Director Jennifer Armand.
This year, the foundation has expanded the amount of money available for proposals that would directly impact increasing access to food in the region.
“The Bayou Region Hunger Summit that BCF co-hosted in October brought to our attention the increasing hunger crisis in our community and the great number of hardworking community organizations that are working to provide food each day to the neediest among us,” said Armand.
Last year, the foundation awarded more than $200,000 in grants to nearly 30 organizations in Terrebonne, Lafourche and Grand Isle. Since 2013, its awarded more than $1.2 million.
A committee evaluates applications based on the organization’s eligibility and track record, how well the application explains the proposal and whether the grant would have a significant positive impact on the program.
Armand said the most competitive requests “will demonstrate the critical need in the community that would be addressed by the grant.”
Organizations that partner with other groups on applications receive preference, as well as those who serve high-need populations and rely on local donations to operate.
Armand pointed to an $11,340 grant for Lockport-based Friends of the PACT Place as having one of the greatest impacts last year. It allowed the nonprofit to provide supervised visitation for more families with a history of or potential for domestic violence.
“On countless occasions, the grant requests we receive have shed light on issues we never realized existed here locally or challenges that many of our local residents face that go unnoticed,” she said.