Hocking County Children's Chorus - Community based, non-profit organization

Two more local agencies receive Operation Round Up grants

The Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen and the Hocking County Children’s Chorus recently received grants through the South Central Power Foundation’s Operation Round Up grant program.

“We’re very appreciative of South Central Power Company Foundation for providing this grant, as well as previous grants in the past,” said Asti Payne, Development Coordinator for the Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen.

“It’s really important to what we do in making sure that we can get the food out to hungry families — and making sure that it’s healthy food,” she added.

The South Central Power Foundation’s (separate from the electric cooperative) Round Up program is a community-oriented program that automatically rounds up members’ monthly electric bills to the next highest dollar amount for those who are willing to participate.

The Foundation announced grant recipients at South Central Power’s recent quarterly meeting. Overall, 30 charitable organizations received a combined $121,962.99 in grant funds from the foundation in April.

The Foodbank received $10,000 in grant funds, and plans to combine it with other grants they’ve received to both fill and expand the freezer capacity.

“Currently we are at capacity with freezer and cooler space,” said Payne. “With a push to get more fresh produce, and frozen meats and dairies distributed, we need to expand our capacity in order to be able to distribute those items.”

The plan is to double their current freezer space by installing a 30x60 foot walk-in freezer and convert the existing freezer to a cooler — tripling the current cooler space.

Last year, the Foodbank received an Operation Round Up grant from the South Central Power Foundation in the amount of $7,500 that went towards purchasing equipment such as pallet jacks and a scale.

“This was also a part of an expansion effort where we expanded our dry storage space by renting an additional 10,000 square feet just up the road,” explained Payne. “So this provided us the equipment so that both warehouse spaces had equipment without having to transport it back and forth.”

Being a competitive grant, the Foodbank needed to apply to receive the funds. “For us, grants are very critical, especially for projects like this,” Payne concluded. “We can use this grant money to help build our facility, which is going to help us in the long run — and keep our normal funds that come in more specifically towards food, and getting food out to people that are hungry in our community.”

In addition to the Southeastern Ohio Foodbank and Kitchen grant, the South Central Power Foundation also awarded a grant to the Hocking County Children’s chorus, in the amount of $2,500.

“We are South Central customers, and I just happened to open a magazine one day and saw this listing of people that have received grants,” said Therese Karnes, Director of the Hocking County Children’s Chorus. “I didn’t even know this was possible. So I made a phone call and completed the grant application.”

The funds awarded to the Children’s Chorus will be put towards the next production.

“This would be for the actual production rights, providing costumes and music for the children. We do not charge parents anything in addition to the registration fee,” Karnes said.

Karnes explained that after the chorus of 32 children completed the production of The Wizard of Oz, she sent out a pre-registration note and concluded that next year’s group would come close to doubling that amount of children.

“I’m thrilled to have such a large choir starting up in the fall,” said Karnes. “But one of the first things I thought was — what does this mean as far as how are we going to be able to afford this production. It was almost like it was meant to be.

“I am very appreciate from Operation Round Up from South Central Power,” she added. “This will enable us to move forward and plan for another exciting for our children. It benefits not only the children of Hocking County, but also the community.”