Stratton Foundation gives $275k to child, family programs

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STRATTON — The Stratton Foundation distributed some $275,000 to various programs that support children and families in Bennington and Windham counties during the current fiscal year. Recipients included groups that provide much-needed food aid.

The nonprofit organization said it awarded year-round grants in four major categories: basic necessities, food and hunger, health and dental, and targeted education.

The biggest chunk of grants, $88,000 or 32 percent of the total, went to education, according to a release from the foundation.

Recipients included college scholarship awardees at Burr and Burton Academy, the first people in their families to attend college, as well as students at Taconic and Green Regional School District who are going to be part of its first middle school success mentorship initiative.

The second biggest grantee category was health and dental, which received $80,000, followed by food and hunger, which got $66,000.

This year, the foundation saw a greater demand for food aid, said Executive Director Tammy Mosher. The fiscal year spans July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.

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"There was really such a surge in trying to solve the food issue," such as breakfast and lunch for school children, Mosher said. "Families are more and more relying on their children being fed in school and food pantries."

Food aid programs that received funding from the foundation included the food pantry at Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School in Townshend, the Community Food Cupboard in Manchester and backpack meals through Blessings in a Backpack for students at Manchester Elementary, Currier Memorial and Jamaica Village School.

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Some children who receive backpack meals share the food they receive with other household members, Mosher said.

The foundation also provided $38,000 to the basic necessities category and nearly $3,000 to crisis programs that help families in emergency situations.

The nonprofit raises funds in a variety of ways, including events, sponsorships, donations, family foundations and endowments. Its biggest fundraiser and signature event is the 24 Hours of Stratton, held every March and the one day in a year that Stratton Mountain Resort's trails are open round-the-clock.

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This year's 24 Hours of Stratton, which took place March 16, raised

around $240,000.

Mosher said that in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, it awarded $208,000 in grants; in 2016-2017, $200,000; and in 2015-2016, $135,000.

The Stratton Foundation said it has distributed about $1.75 million to local communities since the organization was established in 1996. It serves 17 towns in Bennington and Windham counties.

Tiffany Tan can be reached at, @tiffgtan at Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122.


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