M&T Bank Fund Awards $27,500 in Community Grants

M&T Bank continues to invest locally through the M&T Bank/Partners Trust Charitable Fund (MTPT), a donor-advised fund of The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties. The fund has distributed more than $1 million in support of programs and organizations that will have a strong and lasting impact in the community.

The fund’s 2016 fourth quarter grants include the following recipients:

Hope House
A $5,000 general support grant was approved for Hope House Utica. The nonprofit organization provides hot meals, a daytime opportunity for shelter and service referrals to homeless or needy individuals in the community. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, visitors from all walks of life are welcomed to share a meal. Hope House provides three meals a day, serving over 90,000 meals to the hungry each year.

The Root Farm
The MTPT Fund awarded a grant of $10,000 for The Root Farm Learning Garden project that will create an exploratory environment to help children make connections and learn in a meaningful way. The Root Farm works closely with Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s Tradewinds Education Center to provide a therapeutic environment with hands-on learning for children. This supports the development of social, behavior management and communication skills. Students help choose plants, and are involved with nurturing and maintenance throughout the entire process, from seed to soil. The garden’s walkways and planting beds are handicap accessible, giving students the opportunity to learn horticultural techniques in a real-life setting that reinforces math, science and team-building skills. The Root Farm, located in Sauquoit, NY, is a nonprofit organization focused on learning and healing through equine-assisted therapy, agricultural and outdoor recreational experiences.

Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees
The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR) received $5,000 in funding to support programs and services it provides to refugees, immigrants and people with limited English proficiency. The organization assists individuals throughout the integration process, helping them achieve independence and self-sufficiency. MVRCR has resettled more than 15,000 individuals to the City of Utica since being founded in 1981.

A grant of $2,500 has been made to HealthFriends, a community partnership founded by the Mohawk Valley Network, St. Francis de Sales Parish in Utica and Catholic Charities of Herkimer County in Ilion. The organization provides immediate and long-term prescription medication for people without prescription insurance and without the means to purchase medication needed to achieve and maintain good health. HealthFriends is an interfaith, community-based partnership aimed at transcending cultural and religious beliefs in assisting the area’s under-served populations.

The Neighborhood Center
The MTPT Fund awarded a grant of $5,000 to support programming at The Neighborhood Center. As one of the main child care providers in our area, the center focuses on strengthening families through a variety of services. The agency provides a full range of outreach, preventative, developmental and therapeutic human services for over 20,000 individuals in local and surrounding communities.

“M&T Bank is committed to supporting nonprofit organizations and programs that work to enhance our communities’ local strengths. It is through these organizations that we can invest in the education of our children and improve the quality of life for families. We share a passion to achieve these goals, and look forward to developing new partnerships that create significant and lasting change in our community,” said David Manzelmann, M&T Bank Utica market president.

Potential grant opportunities are reviewed by an advisory committee, led by Manzelmann. The group of local advisors meets quarterly, awarding strategic support to programs in education and other civic causes in Herkimer and Oneida counties.

The MTPT Fund was created in 2007 with the goal of providing sustained and continued support for the Mohawk Valley community. The funds have been managed and distributed through The Community Foundation since 2008. In 2016, the fund awarded more than $277,000 in grants, helping to surpass the $1 million milestone for total grants awarded since its inception.