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The Foundation has long championed the protection of natural areas and habitat in East Central Illinois.   At the same time, we have done what we could to support economic vitality.  We see a vital economy and a healthy natural environment not as competitors but both as central parts of holistically healthy communities. 

As a founder of the Fresh Taste Initiative and active participant in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, we have been actively involved in the localization of the food movement, which offers an enormous economic opportunity for the region.  At the same time, the Foundation has supported educational, health and arts institutions because of the important role these amenities play in the vitality of small communities. 

In 2014, planning conversations held by the family with community input, led us to clarify our intentions in the context of limited resources.  As part of our planning, we engaged the community in research on the assets of the local food system. The resulting report, East Central Illinois:  A Place to Grow, provided rationale for our strategy. 

In response, we have created a theme for our work that integrates our concerns for the holistic health of our communities under the banner of Land, Health, Community.

Beginning in 2015, we will receive applications through the Lumpkin Family Fund process from organizations in East Central Illinois wishing to take part in the local, healthy food movement, from the perspective of health (healthy eating), economic development (business development) and environmental quality (sustainable practices).  

This represents a departure for The Foundation from recent years when we welcomed proposals for a wider array of missions.  For more information about these changes, please see the Lumpkin Family Fund page and the Land, Health, Community page.  If after reading these sections you are not sure if you qualify, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call us! 

In Coles County, The Foundation will invite additional proposals that create a culture of movement through physical activity, especially outdoors; protect the land and conserve the beauty of our natural environment; and encourage organizations, businesses and residents to become leaders in the green economy.  We would love to extend this opportunity across East Central Illinois but our financial resources are inadequate to spread across the many communities of the region.     


For Lumpkin Family Fund inquiries, contact:

Amanda Standerfer, Program Officer

For Coles County grants inquiries, contact:

Bruce Karmazin, Executive Director

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121 S. 17th Street  |  Mattoon, IL 61938  |  P: (217) 235-3361  |  F: (217) 258-8444
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