The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is investing $5 million to continue the work of the Lead-Free MV Coalition.

The investment builds on The Community Foundation's initial commitment of $1 million in January 2016 to launch a coalition that addressed childhood lead poisoning in Oneida and Herkimer counties.

Oneida County has had one of the highest levels of childhood lead poisoning in New York State and Herkimer County levels are double the state average.

“As The Community Foundation’s single largest investment, we are making an unprecedented step forward in fulfilling our role as a community leader and change agent,” said Community Foundation President and CEO Alicia Dicks.  "The coalition model has proven successful because it brings together a wide variety of agencies and efforts, helping to create more impactful partnerships,” said Dicks. “As a collective, we’ve been able to leverage the effectiveness of our partners’ current strategies and identify opportunities that will allow for even greater outcomes. Lead-Free MV’s work really has just begun.”

The Lead-Free MV Coalition is made up of more than 40 organizations.