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The funding will increase access to jobs, education and food to strengthen families and reduce inequalities for a stronger, brighter Michigan.

Detroit, Oct. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The DTE Energy Foundation today announced that it has awarded grants to seven organizations based in West Michigan to improve access to jobs, education and to the basic needs of disadvantaged people. Grant recipients include Project After 26, Autism Alliance of Michigan, Feeding America West Michigan, Grand Rapids Urban League, Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, Kids’ Food Basket, and West Michigan Asian American Association, Inc.

“Supporting these organizations will have a multiplier effect in developing the talents of our state and filling a void where families need it most,” said Lynette Dowler, President of the DTE Foundation. “Our partners strive to directly improve life through preparation for employment in their region, thereby enhancing the quality of life of communities. To ensure we have the next generation of skilled and professional workers, we need to provide students with excellent training, and the support of the DTE Foundation will create educational pathways for people to thrive.

This support will better position each organization to meet the specific needs of the people it serves through job preparation, education and equipping people with basic needs such as aid. food.

“We are so grateful to the DTE Foundation for being one of seven amazing organizations that all do essential work for our community in Western Michigan,” said Bridget Clark Whitney, Founding CEO of Kids’ Food Basket. “At Kids’ Food Basket, we are responding to an immediate need by providing nourishing, ready-to-eat evening meals to children and families every day. With opportunities like this, together, our collective community can take one step closer to achieving a hunger-free West Michigan for all. “

Grant recipients – and communities – will use their expertise to ensure that the DTE Foundation’s engagement has maximum positive impact:

  • Project After 26 – $ 26,000 grant to support Project After 26 in operating a successful coffee shop / gift shop in the community employing adults with special needs and coaches, cooks, waiters and managers .

  • Autism Alliance of Michigan – Grant of $ 125,000 to fund the efforts of the Autism Alliance of Michigan to raise expectations and expand education and employment opportunities for people with autism throughout their lives .

  • Feeding America West Michigan – A $ 50,000 grant to support Feeding America West Michigan’s work in collecting and distributing food to alleviate hunger and increase food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

  • Grand Rapids Urban League – $ 10,000 grant for the Listen Up! program, which aims to bridge the STEM workforce by connecting industry to the classroom. With a focus on equity of access, the project aims to unite the private sector to accelerate the growth of the STEM pipeline for students of color in Grand Rapids and Kent County.

  • Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes – $ 30,000 grant to help Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes raise students’ awareness of STEM and other careers by demonstrating the actual application of skills and topics learned in the classroom.

  • Children’s Food Basket – $ 100,000 grant to find a community-based solution to child hunger by engaging everyone who cares about children reaching their full potential – in school and in life.

  • West Michigan Asian American Association, Inc. – $ 10,000 grant for the Pre-Literacy Program, which focuses on teaching basic reading and writing in English to those who have not taken a formal schooling in their mother tongue.


About the DTE Foundation

The DTE Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electricity and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electricity customers in the South East of Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2020, the DTE Energy Foundation provided more than $ 16 million in grants and approximately $ 21 million in COVID relief to nonprofits where the company has a presence. As one of Michigan’s premier corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in Michigan communities in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism, and economic advancement. Visit to learn more.

CONTACT: Aimee Ridella DTE Energy 313.235.4347


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