Operation Fresh Start and River Food Pantry Each
Awarded $50,000 Grant from Great Lakes
Community Benefits from Brighter
Futures Grants Marking GLHEC 50th
Lakes’ nine offices across the country were invited to engage in the Brighter Futures grant making process, with a broader focus on promoting
lasting change in their local communities. A total of $525,000 in Brighter Futures Grants has been awarded to 14 nonprofit organizations based
on the funding priorities selected by Great Lakes employees.
“Great Lakes is committed to making the communities where we live and work even greater,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “In Madison, employees identified youth development and hunger as two of the most pressing issues
affecting our community. Operation Fresh Start and The River Food Pantry are already doing good work, and we’re excited to help them make
an even bigger impact with our Brighter Futures Grants.”
Operation Fresh Start provides job training, education and independent living skills to youth ages 16 to 24 to help them complete a high school
diploma and continue to employment or postsecondary education. Operation Fresh Start will use its $50,000 grant to purchase food for program
participants, nursing supplies, upgraded technology and a new van.
“This is an incredible opportunity to help fulfill crucial organizational needs, which allows us to focus on our mission, providing disconnected
youth a path to self-sufficiency,” said Gregory Markle, Executive Director of Operation Fresh Start.
The River Food Pantry provides hot meals, groceries, clothing and household items to Dane County families who are struggling to make ends
meet. With its $50,000 Brighter Futures Grant, The River Food Pantry will buy a cargo van to expand its MUNCH (Madison Unites to Nourish
Children at Home) program.
“The River Food Pantry is honored and humbled to be awarded a Brighter Futures Grant from Great Lakes,” said Executive Director Charles
McLimans. “The grant will expand our mobile lunch program into more Northside neighborhoods to feed more kids on weekends and non-
school days. We can make a difference in the hunger gap and the achievement gap and give our local kids a brighter future.”
From Great Lakes Higher Education
Madison, Wis.—Great Lakes Higher Education
Corporation & Affiliates is celebrating its 50th
anniversary by awarding grants to nonprofit
organizations making a difference in the
communities where its nine offices are located.
Employees of the Madison office awarded two
Brighter Futures Grants, providing Operation
Fresh Start and The River Food Pantry with
Brighter Futures Grants are an extension of the
philanthropy work done by Great Lakes, which is
dedicated to helping more students from low-
income households, students of color, and first-
generation students get into and through college
so they can go on to successful lives and help
build strong communities. Employees at Great
Greg Markle, Executive Director of Operation Fresh Start, and Charles McLimans,
Executive Director of The River Food Pantry, accept $50,000 grants from the Great Lakes
Brighter Futures Grant committee, in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.