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Move on Up Mississippi announces grant program

Move on Up Mississippi, the nonprofit organization founded by chef John Currence, is currently accepting applications for its inaugural grant cycle.

The organization is aimed at inspiring and funding educational initiatives for the youth of Mississippi, specifically in the areas of wellness and nutrition. According to Currence, the foundation was created out of appreciation for the state and city of Oxford.

“Mississippi has provided me with wonderful opportunities in my career, and I am proud of what my team has built in Oxford,” Currence said. “Through a process made possible by Move On Up Mississippi, we want to take greater strides and help our community move forward into a happier, healthier future.”

MOUM was founded in 2015, and has invested thousands of dollars into organizations in Lafayette County. After seeing the results of this investment, the foundation’s board of directors decided to accept applications for a grant program.

According to a recent news release, the organization is especially interested in applicants whose programs are “intentionally inclusive, provide measurable results and focus on area children and families.” Through this cycle, the foundation aims to reach even further into Lafayette County and support organizations who feel their impact may go unnoticed in Oxford city limits.

According to Janae Owens, Project Coordinator for the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement and a member of MOUM’s Board of Directors, the program will provide community outreach for all people in Lafayette County.

“These grants are our way of aiding families who are working to provide their children with a promising and healthy future,” Owens said.

Any nonprofit organization, public school, government entity or program sponsored by a qualifying organization that is working to positively impact local residents’ health is eligible for a grant. Those interested in the program need submit a pre-application to the foundation’s competitive grant process on or before April 13, 2018. So far, MOUM has received five applications from local organizations.

Preliminary application materials can be found on the foundation’s website, www.moveonupms.org. The pre-application will ask organizations to provide a summary of their organization and initiative, as well as each initiative’s mission and budget.

Complete pre-applications must be received by email or mail in PDF form on or postmarked by April 13, 2018. The organization’s board of directors will review the preliminary applications and announce applicant finalists by May 2018. Applicant finalists will be required to submit a full grant proposal to MOUM by June 2018.

Once applications are turned in, MOUM’s project manager will notify each applicant of their status by May 2018. All applicant finalists will be invited to join the Applicant Showcase during the Oxford Bourbon Festival & Auction, which will take place between May 18-20. The festival is MOUM’s signature fundraiser. All applicant finalists will be required to submit an in-depth proposal to MOUM by June 8, 2018. Move On Up Mississippi will announce grant awardees in mid-July.

Those considering applying can email questions regarding the submission timeline or award process to grants@moveonupms.org.