By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer
Bunker Hill — Two Howard County agencies geared towards helping children were given grant money thanks to the Miami Correctional Facility.
The first grant of $1,500 was given to Tomorrow’s Hope, a facility used to reduce the number of interviews a child victim must endure, reducing their stress and making them more comfortable during questioning, prison spokesperson Ann Hubbard reported.
The facility located on South Main Street in Kokomo reduces the time victims and their families spend assisting with the investigation because all services are provided at one location. It also reduces police and child protection services investigative time, enabling for quicker prosecution through efficient case processing. And it increases and improves the communication between agencies.
The other grant of $2,800 was given to the Family Service Association Prevent Child Abuse program, Hubbard said. This community-based program in Howard County provides prevention education for the benefit of children and families through special events year round. The grant funds will be used for an educational conference on April 9 in conjunction with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The annual event is open to the public and provides education and inspiration for those who serve children. It is attended by law enforcement, probation, social service workers, educators, hospital personnel, faith-based groups, students and more.
The grant money comes from the facility’s Fresh Favorite sales to the offenders. The Indiana Department of Correction’s contract with Aramark, which provides offender food services, has an addendum which allows for 5 percent of the net profits from the sale of Fresh Favorites food to be put into a Community Involvement fund and to be given away to the community.
Fresh Favorites is a special menu of items offered to the offenders for a price. Every IDOC facility using Aramark Food Services will receive this 5 percent and each gets to determine how they want to spend it to benefit the community.
Hubbard said grant applications are accepted at all times, and can be obtained via email by contacting Ann Hubbard, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Robin Burton at email@example.com. The facility will accept applications from any agency/charity with a Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code within Miami, Cass and Howard counties.