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Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Awarded $6410 Age Friendly Communities Grant by Southwest Initiative Foundation

Southwest Initiative Foundation supports older adults in rural Minnesota

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS of MN)) announced it has received a $6,410 grant from Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) to help ensure safety and wellness for older adults recovering from illness or surgery.  This year, SWIF has awarded eight grants totaling $275,960 to support organizations like LSS of MN, working to build responsive and inclusive communities for older Minnesotans.

Grant funds awarded by SWIF will allow LSS of MN Senior Nutrition to provide nutritionally-balanced and diet-specific meals for older adults, age 55-plus, recently discharged from Windom Area Hospital. The nutrition and socialization support will ensure that older adults stay on track through their recovery and achieve optimum healing.  Grant monies also enables LSS of MN volunteers to provide free transportation to congregate dining sites  or deliver meals directly to older adults wishing to remain in their homes.   

“We are so grateful to Southwest Initiative Foundation for supporting our work to assist patients in their recovery and reduce possible re-hospitalization and social isolation,” said Monica Douglas, Senior Director for LSS of MN.  “This award helps support efforts to eliminate barriers older adults may face in accessing nutritious meals and reduce stress on caregivers who benefit from knowing their loved ones have access to healthy food and socialization integral to the recovery process.” 

According to a recent study from SWIF, nearly 20 percent of residents in southwest Minnesota are age 65 and older, five percent higher than the state average. More than one-quarter of older adults surveyed live alone which can lead to isolation and difficulty accessing services, a problem that is compounded for aging adults in rural areas.

“As a growing number of Baby Boomers enter retirement, it is important that southwest Minnesota has the necessary supports in place to make sure that our residents can lead healthy, vibrant lives in their own homes and communities,” said Nancy Fasching, SWIF’s community impact director.  “We are proud to award Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota for work that reflects our commitment to forward-looking, thoughtful, and transformative services that meet the changing needs of older adults.”

For more than 40 years, LSS of MN Senior Nutrition has supported older adults’ wishes to live healthier, more active and independent lives through providing affordable, nutritionally balanced meals and opportunities for socializing with others. Thousands of Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver hot meals and friendly visits to keep older adults connected to community support and resources.  

Senior Nutrition is funded under contract by the Area Agency on Aging with funding from the Older Americans Act through the Minnesota Board on Aging.  Additional funds are provided by the State of Minnesota, United Way, local communities, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and contributions from participants.


About Lutheran Social Serve of Minnesota
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing. Today, with 2,300 employees and 8,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans each year live and work in a community with safety, dignity, and hope. Through a wide range of services, the organization seeks to provide safety and supportive homes for children, counseling to restore health and wellness in families, community living for people with disabilities, and options that help seniors experience independence and abundant aging. For comprehensive information about the work of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, please visit


About the Southwest Initiative Foundation
The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a single connection offering unlimited possibilities to grow and promote people, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in rural southwest Minnesota. As a regional community foundation, SWIF has contributed more than $71 million through its grant and loan programs. SWIF has helped more than 690 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 8,600 jobs. SWIF has also established 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions, 25 community foundations and more than 100 school, donor-advised and other funds. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit to learn more.

Editor’s Note: Southwest Initiative Foundation funding will support LSS Senior Nutrition in serving older adults in Cottonwood and Jackson Counties.