News & Updates

News & Updates


News, Updates, and Future Developments of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Masala Giving Circle Grants $10,000 To Address Food Desert in Newtown Community
By / June 2, 2016

SARASOTA, FL – On Wednesday, May 18, the Masala Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County presented a $10,000 check to The Newtown Nation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for programs which will advance and improve the lives of the community in Sarasota, Florida known as Newtown. In attendance at the event were members of the Masala Giving Circle, representatives of the Community Foundation, and other members of the public, including City Commissioner Susan Chapman and Vice Mayor Suzanne Atwell.

The funding will ensure a local Farmers Market occurs twice a month in the Newtown area to provide access to fresh, healthy, and quality food and other basic necessities to members of the community. A food delivery system will also be incorporated.

The Masala Giving Circle was formed three years ago by a diverse group of professional African-American women with a common passion for giving back, helping others, and creating positive change in the African-American community of Sarasota and Manatee counties. The group awards a grant each year to one or more local non-profit organizations for initiatives to improve the quality of life for African-Americans in Sarasota and/or Manatee counties.

“Masala Giving Circle promotes economic and personal empowerment through financial support for programs and initiative that benefit African American communities,” says Shelia Baynes, Masala Giving Circle President. “Newton Nation, our 2016 grant recipient is one such initiative. With the $10,000.00 grant award they will continue to provide the Newtown Community with a Farmers Market of the freshest delights! We are gratified to be part of this growth that will touch all lives.”

The check presentation event was also designed to promote the function of giving circles and their benefits to members and the community, increase awareness about Masala’s mission and purpose, recognize the Community Foundation’s encouragement and support of Giving Circles, as well as encourage other nonprofits who meet Masala’s grant criteria to participate in future opportunities with the group next year.

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Community Foundation of Sarasota County

2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota FL 34237
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