A Partnership That Does ‘More’
Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto and the Community Foundation announce more than $367,000 in More For Your Community grants to address basic needs
Convivium Urban Farmstead in Dubuque is a restaurant and much more. It’s also a nonprofit that offers cooking and nutrition education programs for people in the community, particularly those who face barriers to accessing healthy foods. During the pandemic, Convivium expanded its offerings to include a new program: Free take-home casseroles.
“We transform the produce we grow in our gardens into healthy meals we give away to people in need,” says Leslie Shalabi (pictured above), co-founder of Convivium. “We’ve given away 20,000 casseroles to people in the neighborhood since the program started in 2020.”
Since the pandemic ended, Convivium has only seen the need for the program grow, with more than 70% of recipients from low-income households and 60% from a household with a disabled individual. That’s why Shalabi and her team applied for a Theisen’s More for Your Community Grant through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and recently learned that it would receive $2,500 for the casserole progam.
Convivium is one of 166 organizations across Eastern Iowa and parts of Wisconsin receiving a total of $367,117 in grants through Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto’s More for Your Community program. This month, the Dubuque-based retailer announced that nonprofits in all of its 23 store communities were selected to receive funding that helps them address issues like food insecurity, housing and access to health resources.
Successful grant applicants demonstrated that their projects would serve basic needs, be matched strongly with local funds, and provide opportunities for others to give back to the community.
“This grant program is our way of supporting residents of the communities we serve in their time of need,” says Chris Theisen, the retailer’s president and CEO. “We are so proud to support organizations providing food, shelter, health care, safety and education to children and families in and near our store communities.”
Celebrating its fourteenth year, the Theisen’s More for Your Community grant program has given away nearly $3.8 million to support local nonprofits and the people they serve. Based on estimates in nonprofit grant applications, this year’s grants are expected to impact more than 600,000 people in communities like Jackson and Jones Counties in Iowa, where grant recipient Vision To Learn is providing free vision screenings and eyeglasses to children.
“More than 3 million children across the country go to school every day without the glasses they need. When a child comes to school, we make sure they’re provided with food, along with the books and school supplies they need. Why not glasses?” says Austin Beutner, founder of Vision To Learn. “Every child in every school, everywhere in the country, should have the glasses they need to succeed in school and in life.”
Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto is a four-generation, family-owned business. Three generations of the Theisen family support this grant program, taking active roles in evaluating each year’s many applications. They also make annual site visits to nonprofit grantees to learn about community needs and to meet the nonprofit leaders serving children and families.
The Theisen’s More for Your Community corporate giving program is a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The Community Foundation administers the grant program, accepting applications and making funding recommendations as part of its mission to strengthen communities and inspire giving. This year, 336 applications were received totaling more than $1.4 million. To view a list of grantees, visit dbqfoundation.org/theisens.
“Nonprofits and local businesses like Theisen’s play critical roles in building strong communities,” says Peter Supple, director of nonprofit relations for the Community Foundation. “We are grateful to Theisen’s for facilitating the More for Your Community grant program and to the organizations receiving funding for the important work they do each day.”
Visit theisens.com/about-theisens/we-give-back to learn more about the Theisen’s More for Your Community grant program.