Milan, MI – Azalia Solar and Apex Clean Energy are pleased to announce four local programs and organizations as the recipients of the first round of Azalia Solar Community Grants.
The program was launched earlier this year to support community organizations making an impact in the following areas: Building Healthy Communities, Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Promoting Education.
“Over the past year we have seen these organizations step up to serve their community, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and hard economic times,” said Brian O'Shea, Public Engagement Manager with Apex Clean Energy. “Their work has supported residents of Milan and London Townships and the entire Monroe County community. We are excited to support them as they look to expand their work in 2021.”
Milan Seniors for Healthy Living (MSHL) will receive a year-long grant to support their transportation service, which provides door-to-door, ADA compliant, and transportation for seniors in Milan, London, Augusta, and York Townships, and the City of Milan.
"MSHL is excited to partner with Azalia Solar in our mission to address transportation needs for the elderly in the Milan community. Access to transportation remains a key factor in an individual's ability to remain in their community as they age. That being said, it is also a truth that seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of 7 to 10 years. Together Apex Clean Energy and MSHL are working to bridge that gap through MHSL's Transportation Service. This investment in door-to-door, demand-responsive service will offer critical funding strength keeping our goals of accessibility and affordability a reality,” said Jennifer Michalak, MSHL Executive Director.
A grant to Aid in Milan (AIM) will help the organization purchase and install a new commercial refrigerator. The unit will expand their onsite storage and increase the amount of fresh food they are able to store on the premises by 25% each week. AIM has been on the frontlines of ensuring their community is provided for during these unprecedented times.
"AIM is deeply grateful for Azalia Solar's investment in our pantry space,” said Mackenzie Mace Executive Director of Aid in Milan. “Due to the pandemic, we have seen a 300% increase in need with our food programs, serving nearly 400 families every month. With the new refrigeration, we will be able to increase our storage capacity to ensure all visitors have access to fresh produce and dairy products!”
Azalia Solar is proud support Moving Milan Forward for the installation of community bike pumps. With the pandemic limiting exercise opportunities, this grant will help encourage and enable community members to get active while enjoying the outdoors.
“We are beyond thrilled by the sponsorship for the community bike pump. This will help improve bicycling in our community and we are thankful to the Azalia Solar community grant program for making this happen,” said Josh Kofflin, President of Moving Milan Forward.
Another multi-cycle grant was awarded to the Monroe County Opportunity Program to expand their emergency food delivery program in vulnerable Monroe County Communities with barriers to accessing fresh and healthy supplemental foods, specifically London Township, Milan, The Village of Maybee, and the Orchard East Neighborhood.
“Monroe County Opportunity Program's Food department is dedicated to providing the Monroe County community with fresh and healthy supplemental foods to fight food insecurity and support positive health outcomes,” said Shawnterra Scott, Food Director at Monroe County Opportunity Program. “Over the past year, MCOP has distributed 2.4 million pounds of food throughout Monroe County. While we serve anyone in need through our food programs, we have a targeted interest in providing support to low-income households, senior citizens, and households with young children.”
Azalia Solar’s ongoing commitment is to be a strong community partner to the Greater Milan area. The Community Grant Program will continue to support pressing community needs and local organizations making a meaningful impact throughout 2021. To learn more or apply for a future grant, visit Azaliasolar.com/grant.
About Azalia Solar: A project of Apex Clean Energy, Azalia Solar is a proposed utility-scale solar energy project with the capacity to generate up to 150MW of homegrown Michigan clean energy, enough to power close to 26,000 American homes while diversifying the local economy and supporting jobs in the community.
Situated in Milan and London Townships, the location has access to existing transmission lines on open private land and is highly suitable for a solar energy project. If approved, the project would create tens of millions of dollars in construction spending and millions of dollars in new personal property tax payments to township governments, local school districts, and Monroe County over the project’s 30-plus-year lifetime. For more information visit www.AzaliaSolar.com.