• More than $600,000 in Spring Grants Announced
  • Gonzalee Martin Honored with 2021 Award
  • Double Up Now Underway
  • Questions with GiveHear, Cindy Fraser
Supporting access to quality health care
Foundation Update:
More than $600,000 Awarded to Help Allen County's Vulnerable Residents
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation is investing more than $600,000 in local nonprofits and grassroots organizations that work with low-income and vulnerable residents.

The Board of Directors approved the latest round of grants this week, bringing the total number awarded since January 1, 2021 to 42.

“Almost all of the grantees have gone through a turbulent time where regular services and revenue streams have been disrupted due to the pandemic,” says Meg Distler, St. Joe Foundation Executive Director. “Our staff, grants committee, and Board of Directors have spent a lot of time learning about the challenges facing our nonprofit partners; these funds should help the grantees navigate these difficult times so they can continue to serve our community’s most vulnerable residents.”
Responding to food insecurity and nutrition needs
Foundation Update:
Gonzalee Martin Honored with
2021 Raymond Rosenberger Minette Baum Award
Gonzalee Martin, a longtime advocate for introducing youth to agriculture, is the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Raymond Rosenberger – Minette Baum Award.

The award is given annually to a nominee of the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation by the Rosenberger Trust to a person who has shown faithful service that alleviates human suffering, enhances the quality of life, or promotes wellness in the greater Fort Wayne area.

“I just don’t know what to say,” Martin repeated when he learned of the honor.

While Martin is too humble to talk about his accomplishments, he is quick to discuss his passion – introducing youth, especially those living in urban areas, to farming and the business of agriculture.
Martin learned to love farming as a kid working on his family’s farm in the Carolinas. Along the way, he learned about more than growing produce; he learned about the business of agriculture and earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural economics. Later, he worked as an agricultural educator for the Purdue Extension – Allen County office.
Responding to food insecurity and nutrition needs
Foundation Update:
Double Up Indiana Now Underway
Double Up Indiana, a program offering free fruits and vegetables for SNAP customers, is now underway in Allen County. Double Up provides a $1 for $1 match on all purchases of fresh produce when customers use SNAP (formerly food stamps).

The St. Joe Foundation sponsors Double Up Indiana with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, United Way of Allen County, and Parkview Health.

For several years, the Foundation has been matching SNAP purchases, WIC (Women, Infants, Children) vouchers, and Senior vouchers to allow customers to buy more healthy fruits and vegetables. Now, a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping the Foundation expand the program so more Allen County residents can participate.

Currently, Double Up is offered at the Johnnie Mae Farm, 2518 Winter St., Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Double Up will also be available at all HEAL Farm Markets beginning the week of July 5. HEAL market locations include: McCormick Place, 3005 McCormick Ave., Wednesdays 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Parkview Greenhouse, 1716 Beacon St., Thursdays 4-6 p.m.; and South Side Farmers Market, 3300 Warsaw St., Saturdays 8-noon.

Find out more at www.DoubleUpIndiana.org
Supporting access to quality health care
Grantee Spotlight:
Questions with GiveHear Patient Care Coordinator Cindy Fraser
Q: For those who don’t know much about your organization, please tell us about the work you do in the community.

A. GiveHear provides nonprofit hearing healthcare for anyone who wants to come here and meets our sliding fee scale parameters. We can see people with insurance or without insurance. We can see people of all ages because we start with infant testing and we work all the way up through adults. We are an Indiana First Steps provider so we see children with hearing loss and we are an Indiana HAAPI provider, which is another Indiana program for children with hearing loss. We are also a Medicaid provider and are licensed with most insurances.

Q: How do your clients inspire you? 

We have amazing stories. We had a gentleman recently who was involved in a hit and run and lay in a ditch for six hours before anyone found him. He had some brain trauma that caused some hearing loss. It was amazing to hear his story and what he had been through and how much he still wanted to accomplish in life. We had two patients that came to us from the same nursing home, one was 103 and the other 101 and they wanted new hearing aids because they are still engaged in life. Then there are our Burmese patients who will tell you what they went through living in the refugee camps and what it took to get here. To listen to all our patients and hear their stories is what is inspiring to me. I love the human spirit. As low as it can get, people can rise above it as long as they have the right tools. That’s what I love about this work—seeing people succeed in spite of their challenges.
 A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.