Community Foundation of Washington County

Melanie Powell
Executive Director

In March of 2022, I became the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Washington County (CFWC). The Foundation was created in 2012 by a group of community leaders who care deeply about investing in and creating a strong future for Washington County residents.

Although I work in philanthropy now, I still refer to myself professionally as a social worker because I worked in the field for many years. I have a desire to help others and I am also concerned for the well-being of others. So, every Wednesday when I drive to work and pass a food pantry with people waiting in long lines for food, a necessity that they cannot afford, my heart goes out to them. Our community has limited resources and limited income for food which result in food inequity in the community. This also creates poor health for many of the residents.

The mission of the CFWC is connecting people who care with causes that matter to create a thriving community for all. The Foundation partnered with Mars Food North America, Delta Group, and MolinaCares to create the Washington County Food Access Improvement Fund. This local partnership committed more than $400,000 over the next three years to fund grants to local food pantries and other nonprofit organizations that provide access to healthy food for the community residents.

According to James Baldwin, “The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.” As a leader of a community foundation with 75 funds and three million dollars in assets, it is my responsibility to make the world a better place and demonstrate humanity by helping those in need. That humanitarian help begins in Washington County, Mississippi.

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