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The Schenectady Foundation announces $2 million grant program

Food security and neighborhood revitalization are top priorities

The Schenectady Foundation has an ambitious agenda for 2023, with plans to invest $2 million in initiatives to strengthen Schenectady County neighborhoods and community-based organizations. 

The Foundation is prioritizing two areas: Equitable Access to Healthy Food and Neighborhood Revitalization. Combined, 75% of all funding – about $1.5 million — will be granted to projects aimed at reducing food insecurity or improving local neighborhoods. 

The Foundation will also commit up to $330,000 to projects that address new or emerging needs. Another $120,000 will be available for a variety of smaller grants, and $40,000 will be provided for student scholarships. 

Throughout the year, The Schenectady Foundation will host public grant workshops to help non-profit applicant organizations understand the grant criteria and how to craft a successful application. See below for the first scheduled workshop sessions. 


The Schenectady Foundation plans to invest $900,000 in initiatives to ensure that every Schenectady

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County household can meet their dietary needs and has access to fresh and healthy food. This is a continuation of the Foundation’s multi-year effort to create a healthier and more sustainable food system for Schenectady County residents. In the first two years of its Equitable Access to Healthy Food program, the Foundation granted close to $1,050,000.

“We are excited to support so many promising efforts to address the root causes of food insecurity in Schenectady County,” said Kristi Milligan, director of grants and community programs for The Schenectady Foundation. “Our Equitable Access to Healthy Food program is about more than just making smart grants - it’s about collaborating with groups and individuals with a desire to transform our community into a place where nobody ever has to worry about where their next meal is coming from.” 


The Schenectady Foundation plans to grant about $450,000 in projects to transform Schenectady’s

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neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy and safe places to live. Areas of need include affordable housing, employment services and programs that support parents and youth.

Another $165,000 has already been committed to eight projects funded by the Foundation’s Thriving Neighborhoods Challenge, a grassroots, citizen-led grant program that invites residents to submit their ideas for making Schenectady a more dynamic community. 

“We feel the best way to create impactful, lasting change is to listen to residents when they tell us what they need,” said Robert Carreau, executive director of The Schenectady Foundation. “What we hear most often is a desire to beautify, uplift and renew the neighborhoods where residents live, work and play.” 


Neighborhood Revitalization: Applications will be due May 19. 

Emerging Needs:  Applications will be due July 28. 

Equitable Access to Healthy Food: Applications will be due Nov. 8. 


Grant workshops are scheduled for: 

March 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mont Pleasant branch of the Schenectady County Public Library, 1036 Crane Street, Schenectady.

March 13 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Karen B. Johnson Central Library, 99 Clinton Street, Schenectady.

March 30 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mont Pleasant branch of the Schenectady County Public Library, 1036 Crane Street, Schenectady.

April 1 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Karen B. Johnson Central Library, 99 Clinton Street, Schenectady. 

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