Published in The Chronicle

Michelle Warren

The Community Foundation of Eastern CT recently awarded grants to numerous organizations in the region, including many in Windham County.

The following organizations in the area were awarded grants, including others:

● $5,000 to the Commercially Licensed Cooperative Kitchen (CLiCK) in Windham, funds that will be used to provide free food safety training to low-income people in the Windham area, with a primary focus on minorities.

“What is most significant about this program is that it focuses on a population that don’t have the $170 to get the certification,” CLiCK Director Leigh Duffy said.

Serv-Safe is offered to people who either own a food-related business or are seeking a promotion at a food-related business.

The course is taught by Dianisi Torres, CLiCK’s business support specialist, who also works with people to help them connect to services they might need related to food-service businesses.

Those who speak Spanish and dialects will receive assistance through the program.

● $8,000 to CLiCK, the Windham Community Food Network and community food waste reduction programs under “The Waste Diversion Program.”

Duffy said the grant will be used to hire a part-time, waste reduction coordinator, who will be a CLiCK employee.

She said that individual will oversee waste-reduction programs at community events in town.

The work will be an expansion of the composting and recycling that is currently underway at the CLiCK facility on Club Road.

Duffy said the Windham Community Food Network was engaged in such work at the recent Thread City HopFest in May.

“That’s an example of what we want to see all of our events doing in town,” she said.

● $5,000 to the Covenant Soup Kitchen Community Food Pantry Cooperative and soup kitchen meals programs

● $5,800 to Grow Windham Youth Food System Apprenticeship program, which increases access to culturally-relevant food and builds workforce and leadership skills among low-income youth interested in food system career paths

● $3,000 to Thames Valley Council for Community Action Senior Nutrition Services in the town of Windham, funding that would support Meals on Wheels, which provides meals to homebound seniors and congregate lunches for active elderly people

● $5,000 to the Salvation Army of Willimantic Emergency Services Program

● $5,000 to the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry general operating expenses

● $5,000 to the Windham Community Food Network Community Table/Mesa Comunitaria, a communal food pantry for primarily Latinx immigrant households in Willimantic

● $5,000 to the Windham Region No Freeze Project Diversion and Housing Support Project

● $105,000 over three years to the Grow Windham- Youth CORE, a youth-led program designed to build career and advocacy skills

● $27,662 to the Connecticut Land Conservation Council Advancement Initiative, which is designed to build community connections by increasing farmland access in Eastern Connecticut

● $20,000 to the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Eastern Connecticut Environmental Justice Mobilization, which will be used to engage and educate the public about critical environmental issues

● $60,000 over two years to the University of Connecticut Foundation Natural Resources Conservation Academy, which involves teenagers, UConn students and volunteers as community partners

● $3,700 to Horizon Wings, a raptor rehabilitation and educational center in Ashford, for their educational programs for schools and youth groups

● $100,000 to the Trust for Public Land-Ct, which is designed to protect land actress Eastern Connecticut, with a focus on distressed municipalities and communities

● $5,000 to C.A.T.S Northeast in Windham for their low- cost spay and neuter clinics