Seneca Food Pantry receives $10,000 grant from Peg Davis Seneca Civic Fund

Seneca Food Pantry receives $10,000 grant from Peg Davis Seneca Civic Fund
Program will distribute non-food items to assist struggling families

By Shaw Local News Network

May 11, 2022

The Seneca Community Food Pantry is a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Peg Davis Seneca Civic Fund for the establishment of a second fund for the distribution of non-food items, such as soap, paper toiletries and cleaning supplies.

The Peg Davis Seneca Civic Fund gifted $10,000 to the Seneca Food Pantry. (From left to right) Gayle Heath, Lisa Horn, Fran Kasten, Lynn Hobbs, Lonnie Horn and Ron Flynn stand in for the check presentation. (Photo provided by Peg Davis Seneca Civic Fund)

While the primary goal of the pantry remains to assist financially struggling families with weekly food distribution, this grant for non-food items will further assist families in need within the Seneca Community Grade School district.
The Seneca Beautification, Betterment and Tourism committee was another grant recipient for $7,000 for its support to the Seneca Mural Project. This will be a 80-foot-by-32-foot hand painted, dimensional mural. The mural will depict hallmarks in Seneca’s history from the 19th century on, including the Illinois and Michigan Canal, Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Train Depot, Hogan Grain Elevator, Seneca Shipyard and downtown Seneca.

The Civic Fund was created from a gift to the community from the estate of Peg Davis, leaving a 145-acre farm to fund charitable endeavors in the Seneca area. When Peg passed she provided for a trust for the village for the fostering civic projects in the village of Seneca to be used for “charitable, scientific, literary, religious and educational purposes.” In early 2019 the farm was moved over to the Community Foundation of Grundy County, which owns and manages distribution of funds at the request and approval of the Civic Committee.

In her estate documents Peg named a nine-person committee to make decisions how to use the funds for grant making. The current committee consists of Fran Kasten, Bruce Baker, Brad Baker, Terry Rooney, Ken Kirkpatrick, Cheri Holman, Father Alexander Millar, Jeff Olson and Dan Stecken. Supporting this committee include George McComb, secretary, advisors Jack Hynds, attorney and Julie Buck, CFGC. Committee vacancies are appointed by the current committee except for the current positions for Sececa mayor, Seneca High School superintendent and the priest of St. Patrick’s Parish. (Previous members were William Steep, David Spicer and Jim Carlson)
Decision on farm management are made by the foundation and their farmer. Income from the farm is fed into the fund, serving as a continuing revenue stream. Decision on farm management is made by the foundation and their farmer.

Twelve grants of more than $142,000 have been awarded by the committee since August of 2018.

Recipients include:

Morris Hospital for “Stop the Bleed Kits” for Seneca High School Seneca Food Pantry “1st grant to replenish food items” Seneca Micro Food Pantry “replenish food items” Seneca Park Board “rehab restrooms at Crotty Park” Packs for Pal “weekend food for children” Seneca Park Board “construct new softball field at Graves Park” I-80 Chapter of AMBUCS “purchase of therapeutic bike for local resident” Seneca Historical Guild “equipment and supplies” Seneca Food Pantry “2nd grant to replenish food items” Seneca Park Board “purchase softball scoreboard at Graves Park” Seneca Beautification, Betterment and Tourism “Seneca Mural Project” Seneca Food Pantry “establish 2nd fund for nonperishable items”

This committee also administers funds left from Peg’s estate to St. Patrick’s Church for the benefit of the Catholic community to assist in the operation and maintenance of the parish and its Catholic mission in Seneca.

Nonprofits and local units of government who provide, or want to provide services, are encouraged to reach out to the committee. The committee continues to look for grant projects for seniors, low income, disable, community improvement, children, among others.
Grant applications for nonprofits providing services to the residents of Seneca can be made by contacting the Community Foundation of Grundy County. Online applications are available at All requests received by the foundation will be forwarded to the civic committee for consideration. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.