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Cargill gives MPS, nonprofit ally $4.16 million

Posted by: Steve Brandt under Politics and government Updated: June 16, 2014 - 4:13 PM

Cargill Foundation is sinking $4.16 million into Minneapolis schools and its nonprofit partner for technical, college and career readiness, and food-service efforts, the district and AchieveMpls announced Monday.

Most of the money will be structured as a three-year grant, but the food service money will be a one-time donation.

The grant provides $1.64 million for expanding science technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programs; $1.3 million for the district’s college-readiness program aimed at low-income middle and high school students; and $940,000 to Achieve for the college and career centers it operates in district high schools. The food-service grant is for $270,000.

The college and career money and the college-readiness money are continuation grants, but the STEM money represents a $600,000 expansion of Cargill’s funding for that area, according to Kristi Pearson, development director for Achieve.  “STEM is of real interest to Cargill,” she said.

The food service money is helping to pay for changes in the district Nutrition Center as it switches operations to serve fresher, less-processed food. It will pay for a batch chiller-cook tank and a large walk-in cooler.

According to Achieve, Cargill Foundation has given $12 million for district programs in the past 10 years, making it the district's largest corporate funder. 

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