Consumers Energy Foundation makes second annual ‘People Awards’ grants

JACKSON—Officials of the Consumers Energy Foundation announced grants totaling nearly $500,000 for three People Award projects, based in Muskegon, Holland and Lansing, providing basic needs for vulnerable populations and preparing Michiganders for workforce success.

People award grants support nonprofit organizations that help provide people with economic security in the areas of basic needs, education and/or workforce readiness.

Said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation: “We operate with a triple bottom line mindset focusing on people, the planet and our state’s prosperity, and these People Award grants serve an important role in helping Michiganders improve their future economic prosperity and meet their immediate needs.”

The three winning recipients chosen from 70 applicants are:

  • The Foundation for Muskegon Community College ($238,200), Muskegon. The funding supports the creation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) lab and the hiring of a STEM coordinator to help K-12 students learn about the connection of STEM to skilled trades careers.
  • Ottawa & Allegan County United Way ($150,000), Holland. The funding supports improvements to make permanent the Goods Donation Center, created as a temporary solution to COVID-19 requirements, which provides basic needs such as food, clothing, personal items and household goods to help ALICE (Asset Limited, Income, Constrained) individuals and agencies in Ottawa and Allegan counties.
  • Michigan Community College Association ($100,000), Lansing. The funding supports the development of training resources designed to expand awareness and knowledge about basic needs resources, including ALICE, MiBridges, Michigan 211 for faculty and staff at colleges across Michigan who work closely with students struggling to complete their education.

The People Awards are the final of three signature grant allocations in 2021 totaling nearly $1.5 million. Planet Awards and Prosperity Awards were previously announced. Requests for 2022 proposals for the three awards will be announced later this year.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit

Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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