The Grant Program directs financial and technical resources to help nonprofit and community organizations, schools and school districts, Tribal Nations, public entities, and professional associations within the priorities of Children, Youth, and Families; and Individual and Community Wellbeing. In addition, grants were awarded through the Northland Foundation’s Rural Aging Initiative and the KIDS PLUS Youth In Philanthropy Board.



Healthy foods strengthen the fabric of community

In northeastern Minnesota, nearly 1 in 5 children is food insecure – unsure if they will have enough to eat. Because fresh produce is often more expensive than processed food, even a full belly doesn’t mean proper nutrition. Lack of good food affects physical and mental health. Managing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease is tough. It’s hard to focus at work, school, and home. Hunger touches all ages and aspects of life.

With Northland Foundation grant support, the Second Harvest North Central Food Bank reached more than 1,100 households over the summer with 46 healthy food “pop-ups” held in 16 communities.

On this hot July day, the community center in Bena is a flurry of activity. It’s their first food pop-up. Local volunteers set up tables and tents, while the Second Harvest truck unloads potatoes, carrots, and canned goods. It looks like a farmers’ market. A teenager carefully hoists watermelon. Friends laugh together. Younger people help the elders.

Whether in Bena, Aitkin, or International Falls, recipients are grateful. Said one woman to a food bank staff member, “I never buy produce; it’s too expensive. Now I can make soup and freeze it for the winter for my family – Thank you.”


food bank

food bank

Grants Summary

Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the Northland Foundation awarded 194 grants totaling $1,633,465 within the following categories.

30% Children Youth and Families + 26 Youth In Philanthropy grants
88 grants - $486,478

31% Individual and Community Wellbeing
39 grants - $514,250

26% Rural Aging Initiative, Intergenerational
40 grants - $424,025

13% Other: Capacity Building, Economic Development, Community Vitality
27 grants - $208,712



grants summary


Use the drop-down to view grants awarded July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 either by category or listed in their entirety.