Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation offers free paint for community projects in partnership with local hardware stores

Published On: March 1st, 20230.9 min readCategories: Covid-19, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with regional hardware stores, will be accepting applications for free paint and coating products for community mural, community welcome sign or historic structure projects through its Paint the Town Grant program.

This grant opportunity is available to communities with a population under 10,000 throughout SMIF’s 20-county region. A goal of this program is to encourage local volunteer involvement in the painting process. Projects will be awarded paint products based on visual impact, public benefit, volunteer participation and community support.


Since 1997, SMIF has helped distributed more than 10,500 gallons of paint to 303 projects in the region through various programs. The Paint the Town Grant program was officially launched in 2015 with regional Ace Hardware and Arrow Hardware and Paint stores.

The participating stores are Arrow Hardware & Paint (store locations: Northfield, Owatonna, Rochester Crossroads, Rochester North, St. Peter, Shakopee, St. Cloud), Faribault Ace HardwarePellicci Ace Hardware (store locations: Eagan, Farmington, Rosemount, Zumbrota) and St. Charles Ace Hardware. While some participating stores are located outside of SMIF’s region, only communities with populations under 10,000 within SMIF’s 20-county region are eligible to apply.

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