The town of Windsor is giving a total of $52,500 in grant funding to several local nonprofits as part of the town’s annual nonprofit grant program.
The program is limited to projects that provide direct human services to the residents of the town of Windsor for housing, shelter, food distribution, human support services and counseling needs.
According to a Windsor Town Council agenda report from its July 7 meeting, the 2021-22 nonprofit grant program has $55,000, the same as the last fiscal year, to divvy out to local nonprofits who’ve applied for the program.
The grant application period was open from March 8 to April 8, 2021 and seven applications were received from individual nonprofits, according to Nelle Herman, the recreation division manager for the town of Windsor.
Six of the applications received were eligible for the program and one application, which was received after the deadline due to technical errors, was accepted.
In a unanimous vote on July 7, the Windsor Town Council decided to allocate the following amounts:
● The Active 20-30 Club #205 will receive $1,900 for the club’s back to school shopping spree for low-income children.
● The Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma-Marin will receive $2,400 for direct assistance for Windsor families.
● The Council on Aging will receive $14,500 for the Meals on Wheels program.
● The Center for Social & Environmental Stewardship, also known as Circuit Rider, will receive $5,000 for family and community strengthening services.
● The Windsor Presbyterian Church will receive $2,200 for its food pantry program.
● The Windsor Service Alliance will receive $26,500 for its food pantry program.
The Active 20-30 Club #205 requested $2,775 for the back to school shopping spree, which equips students with new clothes, backpacks and other school supplies.
“This year we are on track to serve closer to 400 children, which is awesome,” said Samantha Carpenter of the 20-30 club.
During the program, 20-30 volunteers typically take the kids shopping, however, last year due to COVID, the club held a drive-thru event.
“Children received $150 worth of clothing that volunteers shopped for,” Herman said during the July 7 Windsor Town Council meeting.
They also provided children with a backpack, grade-appropriate school supplies, bike helmets and food.
“This year, they’ll also provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to support a return to in-person learning,” Herman said.
The Boys & Girls Club originally requested $10,000 for direct assistance to Windsor families.
“Last year they launched an active COVID-19 response effort with three primary components. The first, while sheltered in place, they made weekly phone calls and contacted approximately 500 Windsor families that they serve. Second, securing and delivering direct aid to those families. A lot of that aid looked like groceries, household items and grocery store gift cards in varying amounts depending on circumstances and the size of their family,” Herman said.
The Council on Aging had asked for $15,000 for its Meals on Wheels program, which delivers healthy meals to local seniors.
Marrianne McBride, the president and CEO of Council on Aging, said they’ve provided well over 24,000 meals this past year.
“We provide 50 to 60 meals per day to seniors in Windsor, well over 24,000 meals this past year. Additionally we added a drive over pick up sight at the Windsor Senior Center providing 3,640 meals. Although we haven't had a dining site in Windsor for some time, we’ve entered into an agreement with Burbank Housing and will have a senior community dining site at Bell Manor, which is a 95-unit low-income senior housing and that is open to any senior in Windsor,” McBride said during the public comment section of the July 7 meeting. “In the event we don’t receive funding, I don’t see that it would be possible to continue at the level that we’ve been providing meals. It might jeopardize the opening of the dining site. We’d appreciate any support that you are able to provide.”
The Center for Social & Environmental Stewardship/Circuit Rider requested $10,000 for community and family strengthening services.
“Going forward, the center is reverting to their original name, Circuit Rider, and they propose to continue providing town of Windsor residents with a variety of support services, career pathway development, climate readiness training and job search assistance. They will also offer case management and referral services to assist town of Windsor residents to efficiently access health care and other support services based on their individual needs,” Herman said.
Examples of support services include stress management, parenting tips, anxiety, relationship or marital difficulties, food insecurity, housing insecurity, gang involvement, learning challenges and disabilities, school challenges and workforce skill development needs.
The Windsor Presbyterian Church food pantry requested $2,500 for the food pantry. The pantry provides food to more than 80 households per week and distribution numbers have doubled since the COVID pandemic.
The food pantry assembles boxes with food basics and allows the recipients to add selections of baked goods, desserts and other grocery items.
The Windsor Service Alliance requested $55,000 for their food pantry. In addition to the pantry, they have monthly food deliveries to two low-income senior centers.
On average they distribute 35,000 pounds of food weekly and residents receive an average between 80 and 120 pounds of food, according to Herman.
Councilmember Esther Lemus and Vice Mayor Rosa Reynoza said they were both interested in providing more financial support to the food-based organizations.
“I’m looking at the numbers, the amount received during the last year, and I would like to see increases to those that provide food, the Windsor Service Alliance, the presbyterian church, the Council on Aging,” Lemus said.
She suggested taking $9,000 and dividing by the three food service organizations.
Windsor town staff recommended allocating $2,000 for the 20-30 Club’s kids shopping spree and $3,000 for Boys & Girls Club direct assistance, but the council suggested $2,000 then $1,500.
The staff suggestion for Meals on Wheels was $13,000, but there were council suggestions of $15,000. $5,000 was suggested for the Windsor Community and Family Strengthening Services, but Reynoza suggested a $5,000 allocation.
The church food pantry suggestion was $1,000, but then the idea of allocating $2,000 was thrown around. The Windsor Service Alliance Pantry suggested allocation was $22,000 and Lemus suggested $27,000.
In the end, they decided to issue allocations that were the average of all of the different town staff and council member allocation suggestions.