Alcoa Foundation and Alcoa Inc. Tennessee Operations is granting more than $190,000 to 11 non-profit organizations in Blount, Knox, Monroe and Sevier counties in Tennessee and Graham County, NC.
Alcoa’s Community Advisory Board - a group of 12 business, community and government leaders responsible for evaluating and making recommendations to Alcoa Tennessee Operations and Alcoa Foundation on what projects should be funded - reviewed 60 grant proposals totaling more than $1 million in funding requests.
“This year’s grant-selection process focused on Safe and Healthy Children and Families - one of the four Alcoa Foundation areas of excellence,” said Larry W. Martin, Alcoa Community Advisory Board member. “Back in December we met to discuss the 2009 grants and due to the economic hardships that are plaguing our community, we came to the unanimous decision to concentrate new grant funds on the area of basic health and human services,” Martin added.
“We are pleased to announce that Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is the recipient of a $15,000 Alcoa Foundation grant,” said Chris Jackson, Alcoa Tennessee Operations Rigid Packaging Division Location Manager. “With an additional $1,800 in funding from our local budgets, the grant will be used to fund Second Harvest’s Food for Kids program in six new schools during the 2009-2010 academic year,” Jackson said.
Food for Kids is a collaborative effort between Second Harvest and area schools. The program provides backpacks filled with kid-friendly food for children who normally receive free or subsidized lunches during the week, to take home on weekends. The participating schools do not incur any costs for this program as all costs are absorbed by Second Harvest and funded through grants, sponsorships and donations.
“We have seen requests for our services double in the past six to nine months,” said Elaine Streno, Executive Director of Second Harvest. “This Alcoa Foundation grant will assure that approximately 300 additional children will be able to enjoy nutritious meals even when they are away from school on the weekends,” Streno said.
On Tuesday, July 28, Alcoa CAB members and employees celebrated the grant with a volunteer work day at Second Harvest.
Additional grant dollars will fund educational and environmental programs in our communities. In celebration and recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, $25,000 is being donated to Friends of the Smokies to continue its Trails Forever program and the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher initiative, while more than $17,000 will help support year two of the National Parks Conservation Association’s Cades Cove Shuttle pilot project. The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont will receive $20,000 to continue work on their Citizen Science Program and solar array project.
Educational programs designed to foster workforce development were also funded in 2009, including Boys and Girls Club of Monroe County, Blount County Literacy Council, Youth Leadership Blount and the Blount County Education Initiative.
The following is a list of grants that Alcoa Foundation and Alcoa Tennessee Operations are awarding in 2009:
Boys and Girls Club of the Monroe County Area -- $7,500 (Goals for Graduation program)
Blount County Literacy Council -- $15,000 (English as a second language classes and employment maintenance assistance)
Blount Education Initiative -- $25,000 (Workforce development)
Friends of the Smokies -- $25,000 (“Trails Forever;” Teacher-Ranger-Teacher initiative)
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont -- $20,000 (Expand/strengthen Citizen Science program; install solar array)
Haven House/Mane Support -- $18,145 (HALT - Horses Assisting in Life-Changing Transitions)
Ijams Nature Center -- $30,000 (Continuation of Living Clean and Green program)
Leadership Blount -- $12,000 (Youth Leadership Blount program)
National Parks Conservation Association -- $17,102 (Cades Cove shuttle pilot program)
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee -- $15,000 (Food for Kids backpack program)
Stecoah Valley Arts, Crafts and Educational Center -- $7,500 (Ecotourism program development)
Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations is the world’s largest producer of rolled aluminum can sheet for beverage cans. It has been in operation in Blount County, Tenn. since 1913 and currently employs approximately 1,200 East Tennesseans in its Blount and Knox County locations.
Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in the countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation’s grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages Alcoa’s ACTION and Bravo! programs which recognize the volunteer efforts of employees with grants to the organizations they serve. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit www.alcoa.com under Community.