On Tuesday, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Missouri Foundation for Health awarded a $10,000 grant to Aurora Area Community Foundation through the Rural Ozarks Health Initiative to address health issues in communities in the CFO’s rural service area. AACF will award the funds to support agencies targeting mental health in children and young adults.

“All of us at the Aurora Area Community Foundation are very pleased to receive this ROHI grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Missouri Foundation for Health,” said Jack Muench, President of AACF. “We are excited to offer a grant program to people in the communities of Aurora, Marionville and Verona that are working to identify mental-health and substance-abuse problems of our area youth.”

For the second year, the CFO has awarded $10,000 grants to 10 affiliate foundations to support community health programs and grantmaking. The grants are part of the Rural Ozarks Health Initiative, a program to address health issues in communities or regions served by the CFO’s affiliates. Other recipients for 2019 include affiliate foundations serving Alton, Dade County, Dent County, the Lake of the Ozarks area, the Marshfield area, the Meramec region, Nixa, the Ozark Foothills region and West Plains.

This grant program was developed by Missouri Foundation for Health and the CFO because of a disparity in health indicators between urban and rural areas of Missouri and the scarcity of grant resources available for rural issues in general.

“We know that our work as a changemaker cannot have its greatest impact if we are not collaborating with other regional and local funders that undoubtedly know their communities best,” said Bob Hughes, MFH president and CEO. “Going into round two of this funding program with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks demonstrates the power of partnership and how working together moves us toward the best outcomes for community health improvements.”

“The $10,000 grants reinforce our belief that local people know how to best address local needs,” said CFO President Brian Fogle. “While there are disparities between rural and urban community health, every small town or county has its own unique challenges. We trust these affiliate foundations will make the best decisions for their communities.”

A third grant round will be awarded in 2020. When complete, $750,000 in grant funding will be distributed to more than 30 communities served by CFO affiliate foundations. More information about ROHI is available at: www.cfozarks.org/rohi.