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Recent MCUF Grants Boost Financial Health with Support for Food Pantry and Small Business Revival

Two Michigan Credit Union Foundation (MCUF) Community Enrichment Grants approved in December boosted the impact of local credit union initiatives.

Advantage One Credit Union

Advantage One Credit Union received a grant to help solve a distribution challenge for the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry and to add a financial education component to their services.

Fish & Loaves is the largest food pantry in the Downriver area of Southeast Michigan. It provides food and resources including baby diapers to over 40,000 low-income residents annually and was in dire need of a new van to pick up donations and deliver resources to replace their current rotting and unsafe vehicle.

Advantage One wanted to help fund the purchase of a safe vehicle but needed help. Along with an MCUF grant, Advantage One gained the cooperative financial support of three other local credit unions (Zeal Credit Union, Community Choice Credit Union and Public Service Credit Union) and the Metro West Chapter of Credit Unions. In addition to the vehicle support, Advantage One is helping Fish & Loaves add credit union financial education resources, events and financial counseling services to further increase the support to residents’ financial wellbeing.

TRUE Community Credit Union

TRUE Community Credit Union Union’s grant boosted their own financial support to assist with the costs of rehabbing a business space and marketing expenses for a local woman- and black-owned small business. KeniKakes & More, providing food, event and catering services to the Jackson community, was a new and successful small business until COVID hit, shuttering their doors and restricting their ability to generate income. The business owner had to leave her new business behind with the dream of someday growing it back again.

Now, the Jackson Black Excellence Committee has secured a location for KeniKakes & More to reopen, and they have coordinated with multiple partners in the community, including TRUE Community Credit Union, to make this dream a reality and raise up the business owner from all that she has lost during the pandemic.

In addition to financial support, TRUE Community Credit Union plans to partner with KeniKakes & More on member and community special events and fundraisers to provide member enhancements and support for the business.

The MCUF awarded 16 Community Enrichment Grants in 2022, totaling $79,495, to help boost credit union impact. MCUF works with cooperative donations from credit unions, chapters and businesses to empower credit unions to increase financial wellbeing by supporting community enrichment, financial education and credit union development initiatives.

All Michigan credit unions are encouraged to engage with the foundation as financial donors and as participants in MCUF programs.

To learn more, donate or apply for programs visit MCUF.mcul.org.

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