Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Hope Alliance of Missouri receives $750 MRCF community grant

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Bonnie Prigge or Caitlin Jones

ROLLA—Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF) awarded Hope Alliance of Missouri with a $750 grant for its Friday Backpack program. The checks were presented at MRCF’s Invite-a-Friend luncheon March 12 at MRPC in St. James. Hope Alliance of Missouri was one of two projects selected for funding.

These funds will help supplement the costs of the Friday Backpack Program which provides students in the Rolla school district who are facing food insecurity with food to supplement their weekend meals. Hope Alliance spends approximately $1,800 on food weekly, which is provided to children at no-cost. This grant will go directly to supporting the food costs of the program. Currently, Hope Alliance feeds over 430 students a week from six Rolla schools and keeps extra on-hand for emergency requests from partner organizations. Over 15,000 bags are handed out per year through this program. The goal is to provide a barrier-free resource to families. 

“The financial aspect of the donation is amazing!” said Faith Barnes, Hope Alliance Executive Director, via email. “The money will go directly to the purchase of much needed food. However, the impact this will have on our organization is far-reaching, as this grant shows the importance of collaboration. I’m proud to be part of an organization that works together to make our community stronger!”

For more information on Hope Alliance of Missouri or their backpack program, please visit hopemo.org or find them on Facebook.  

The other recipient was the Bourbon Economic Development Group for its Route 66 Business, Education and Tourism Center.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC. Jared Niederer of Gasconade County serves as chairman of MRCF.

Currently, MRCF has 59 funds totaling over $4.8 million.

CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 55 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,500 charitable funds totaling approximately $427 million in assets, as of March 2024. 

MRPC, in addition to establishing the regional foundation and providing the initial investment to create a grant program, provides staff support to MRCF. 

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Mary Heywood, representing individuals with disabilities, serves as chair of the board. A professional staff of 28 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.


Cutline: Meramec Regional Community Foundation Chairman (MRCF) Jared Niederer (left) presents a $750 community grant to Faith Barnes the Executive Director with Hope Alliance of Missouri for the Friday backpack program. Hope Alliance of Missouri is one of two organizations to receive a 2024 community grant from MRCF.