The Owatonna Foundation announced a pair of local humanitarian aid donations on Friday. In a news release, the Foundation stated, "The Trustees of your community foundation feel that these extraordinary times called for an immediate response to the crisis." Donations of $10,000 each were made to Community Pathways (formerly the Steele County Food Shelf) and SEMCAC.

Laura Resler, Executive Director of the Owatonna Foundation said, "The Trustees felt that in response to the community's current situation that we should show support that directly impacts the well-being of our citizens. It is our community's people that drive what the Owatonna Foundation does, and what we are doing is to serve in the best interest."

The $10,000 donation to Community Pathways will go toward the purchase of food. The $10,000 donation to SEMCAC will pay for meals for seniors that are shut-in during the crisis.

Foundation President Denny Meillier says, "As our community faces the struggles related to the COVID-19 situation, the Trustees felt that the Foundation should give humanitarian aid in the form of financial support to our community via these organizations. Our families, businesses, and community have been turned upside down, and our daily lives have been severely altered due to this crisis."

"It is our hope that this show of support will help to ease some of the burdens that are facing so many of our neighbors and friends, and that other organizations will follow suit and offer their support as well."

Owatonna Foundation usually makes grants for "bricks and mortar" projects that focus on "community, arts, recreation, and education." The Foundation looks at these recent donations as falling under the "improving the quality of life for present and future generations" part of their mission statement.

Since being established in 1958 the Owatonna Foundation has granted more than $12 million toward community projects. They also award about $30,000 in scholarships annually.