optiMize funds COVID-19 Community Aid Efforts

By | June 19, 2020
(A collage of photographs: one of shelves with various canned food; one of a shopping cart full of food; one of boxes with paper towel and canned food; and one of fresh fruits and vegetables in a bag.)
The food pantry on Heidi’s porch funded by the optiMize grant, and some of the items donated or purchased. (Photo by Heidi Bechtel.)

optiMize, a student-led incubator at the University of Michigan, launched a $25,000 Community Aid Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The relief fund aims to provide mutual aid and community-based projects in Washtenaw county. Students at U-M, Eastern Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College were eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in funding. optiMize received more than 35 applications within two weeks, and nine were chosen. 

Jeff Sorensen, co-founder of optiMize and director for social innovation for the College of LSA, said that optimize wanted to do its part to support not only the Washtenaw community but also the Ann Arbor and U-M community — and believes that people have their own best solutions to issues in our community.

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Author: News Staff

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