WINONA LAKE – The K21 Health Foundation (K21) awarded a grant of $54,500 to Warsaw-based nonprofit Combined Community Services (CCS) for the purpose of providing fresh, local produce to people in the community.

CCS has partnered with Noble Gnome, a farm based in Mentone, that’s committed to reducing food insecurity in Kosciusko County through sustainable produce, according to a news release from K21.

“We at K21 greatly admire the work that Combined Community Services does in our community to help people achieve more stability and overall wellness in their lives,” said Rich Haddad, president and CEO of K21 Health Foundation. “We are glad to help them enhance their food pantry services by ensuring access to fresh, local produce that will benefit the health of families and individuals throughout the county.”

The mission of CCS is to provide comfort, hope and resources for neighbors in need. The nonprofit exists to help people in the community with emergency needs for food, clothing and utilities. CCS also offers programs designed to lead families to economic self-sufficiency.

Developing a partnership with K21 and Noble Gnome has given CCS a way to meet people’s need for fresh food.

“We appreciate the support from K21 on this initiative. K21’s care for the community’s wellbeing is evident in all that they do, and we are grateful for their ongoing partnership,” said Randy Polston, executive director of CCS. “We are also glad to work with Noble Gnome in their efforts to ‘provide health to our community’ by supplying us with food that has been grown locally, without synthetic pesticides or herbicides, that hasn’t traveled thousands of miles.” Noble Gnome “believes in quality local food that provides health to our community because it has been grown local and picked fresh.”

Approximately one in 10 people in Kosciusko County are food-insecure, according to data gathered by Feeding America.

More information about CCS and Noble Gnome can be found at www.ccsgives.com and www.noblegnomellc.com. For details about K21’s work in the community and current projects, visit www.K21healthfoundation.org.