Hunger

West Central Initiative (WCI) is one of six community foundations in Minnesota created by the McKnight Foundation in 1986 to response to the farm crisis. Together, we cover the area of the state called “Greater Minnesota.” We have cities and towns in all of our regions, but we are commonly understood to be representative of rural Minnesota.

Nearly 9,000 wildfires tore through the State of California in December 2017, burning 1.2 million acres of land, destroying more than 10,800 structures and killing at least 46 people.

Mexico experienced two major earthquakes in the September 2017. The first, hitting the southern coast of Mexico on September 8th, was one of the biggest recorded in the area at a magnitude of 8.1. Only eleven days after this first major disastor, on September 19th, Mexico was hit with another earthquake, at a magnitude of 7.1. Many deaths have been reported from both earthquakes and several major cities including Mexico City, Puebla, and San Juan Raboso have large amounts of rubble, with many people trapped under collapsed buildings.

I have attended a lot of conferences over the years and have always felt driven to go to as many sessions as possible, to gather information and knowledge to bring back to my colleagues at the Maine Community Foundation. This time around was no different: I set out to get the latest on National Standards, to explore issues related to endowed philanthropy, to learn how community foundations and United Ways can do more together.

It’s amazing what generous people will do when they understand a community issue and see a way to help solve it. But many times, the roadblock to getting started is that people don’t really understand the problem or even realize there is one.

A task force of the Placer Collaborative Network (a project of Placer Community Foundation in northern California) formed to look at Placer County food systems and identify areas to strengthen it and help families have access to healthy food. Results from several focus groups and an on-line survey culminated in the report. This information will be used as a tool to design training and network needs, to encourage collaboration, and to educate the public on the opportunities to support the systems.