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Feeding the hungry

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photographer

September is “Hunger Action/Awareness Month” and each week, The Tomahawk has featured a story detailing the struggle against hunger and poverty and Johnson County. This week’s story details the various grants that go to support programs throughout the community aimed at battling hunger.
For the previous two stories in the Hunger/Poverty Series, statistics were cited that were gathered and prepared by local graduate student Candace St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence painstakingly prepared a meticulously detailed report offering data and information about various poverty related issues throughout Johnson County. Findings from St. Lawrence’s’ report were also used in this week’s edition.
Barring government programs there is perhaps no other organization that does more regionally to fund community outreach programs than the East Tennessee Foundation. St. Lawrence reports, “The East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is a public, nonprofit community foundation where hundreds of donors and charitable funds and foundations band together to further the interests of East Tennesseans. As of 2/04/15, it had $257.8 million dollars in assets.” The East Tennessee Foundation offers “scholarship, grant and loan opportunities to students and nonprofit organizations throughout their 25-county service area,” wrote St. Lawrence. Since its launch in 1986, the East Tennessee Foundation has awarded over $205 million dollars in grants.
The Johnson County Community Foundation (JCCF) is the local branch of the East Tennessee Foundation. The JCCF offers grants ranging from $500 to $2500. Applications for JCCF grants “Grant applications must be submitted no later than March 6. 2015. Presumably a similar deadline is posted for each year. Criteria may be found at but generally refer to health and welfare of the county, utilizing its unique assets and benefits families, women and/or children,” detailed St. Lawrence.
The majority of outreach programs are locally or privately funded (mainly churches) or government funded. The Extension Agency of Johnson County is “part of a program created in 1914 by the Smith-Lever Act designed to take research-based information to rural areas to improve the quality of living. The two functions are improvement in farming and improvement in household management.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.