Consumers Energy Foundation Announces $500,000 Awarded to Cristo Rey Community Center, Roscommon County United Way

JACKSON, MI, Oct. 18, 2022 — The Consumers Energy Foundation announced two grants today totaling $500,000 for two organizations — Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing and Roscommon County United Way — in its third year of People Awards disbursements. The Consumers Energy Foundation’s People Awards support nonprofit organizations working to provide economic security for Michigan residents through programs and services centered on basic needs, education and workforce readiness.

“The Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to support programs and initiatives that have a direct impact on our neighbors and the communities we serve,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “These contributions will enable two incredible organizations to expand the work they’re doing to meet the needs of Michiganders.”

The two People Awards recipients chosen from more than 100 applicants are:

  • Cristo Rey Community Center ($250,000), Lansing
    • The funding supports basic needs assistance programs through physical infrastructure improvements that will increase the capacity and accessibility of their food and personal needs pantries.
  • Roscommon County United Way ($250,000), Houghton Lake
    • The funding supports the establishment of a mobile soup kitchen program that will provide meals to county residents living within or below the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) threshold. Additionally, grant funds will support other local food pantries through infrastructure improvements to increase capacity and impact.

“We at Cristo Rey Community Center are humbled by the Consumers Energy Foundation’s significant investment in the work we do.  Their support will create lasting change for our organization, the Greater Lansing Area, and more significantly, the underserved, vulnerable population that benefit from our health, counseling, and food access programs,” said Joe Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of Cristo Rey Community Center. “With this gift, we can grow our services, increase distribution, and enhance existing partnerships in order to better meet the needs of our community.  Our organization has witnessed a sharp increase in need for services and in order to meet those needs, committed partnerships are essential.  We look forward to this partnership with the Consumers Energy Foundation and to the tremendous changes that will come as a result of their generosity and concern for people in a community we are both deeply invested in.”

“It is difficult to find the right words to express the gratitude we feel for this extraordinarily generous grant,” said Cherrie Benchley, Executive Coordinator for Roscommon County United Way. “It will bring an incredibly positive change to our communities and the families we serve. Thank you hardly seems adequate to express our appreciation. We are very grateful”

The People Awards are the final of three signature grant allocations in 2022 totaling $1.5 million. The Foundation previously awarded Planet Awards and Prosperity Awards  to support nonprofit efforts that protect Michigan’s environment and support economic development.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation contributes to the growth and strengthening of Michigan communities by investing in what’s most important — our people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits.

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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Media Contacts: Tracy Wimmer, 517-539-4465, or Terry DeDoes, 517-243-9908

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