The Cassville Community Food Pantry at Cassville United Methodist Church has received a $5,000 Caritas grant from the Mercy health organization.
The $100,000 Caritas grant, which means 'charity' in Latin, was established in 1988 in honor of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley and is funded by Mercy corporate co-worker donations. The funds will provide $5,000 in food supplies for the local pantry.
"I was just thrilled to hear we were awarded the grant," said Janet Mills, pantry coordinator. "It's a wonderful thing. Amazing."
Mills was notified that Cassville Food Pantry was one of five rural food pantries across the state that would be receiving funds.
Other projects funded though this year's grant include: equipment and counselors to assist families in crisis, birth certificates, bus passes for the homeless, hygiene supplies for school children, vaccines for new Americans, services to transition homeless men into housing, supplies for a domestic violence shelter, wellness screenings for women and tutoring and counseling for at-risk students.
All of the funded programs benefit residents in the seven-state area served by Mercy Hospitals.
"We remain true to our Sisters of Mercy who have cared for impoverished women, children and the sick for almost 200 years," said Lynn Britton, Mercy chief executive officer (CEO). "We want to improve access to healthcare and reach out to the economically disadvantaged. This is about Mercy supporting the communities we serve."
Mercy is comprised of Mercy Hospital in Springfield, and five regional hospitals in Lebanon, Aurora, Cassville, Mountain View and Berryville, Ark.; Mercy Clinics, with 70 locations throughout the region; and Mercy Health Plans, the largest managed care provider in the region.
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States and serves more than 3 million people annually.