DES MOINES, Iowa (3/18/10)--The Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) has awarded the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) a $165,000 grant for its Credit Union Family Partnership Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. ICUF will use the award to expand its IDA program and increase the number of Iowa credit unions offering financial education and savings accounts for families with low incomes, including those serving Latino communities, said the Iowa Credit Union League. ICUF is one of six recipients to receive a NWAF grant, said Marybeth Foster, ICUF executive director. “This grant will help us to extend our outreach efforts to low-income Iowans through our IDA program and ultimately help them acquire long-term financial stability,” she added. IDAs are matched savings accounts where a participant’s savings are matched by a grant from another organization. The saver uses the matching funds are to purchase a specific asset--such as a home, starting or expanding a small business, paying for education or job training, or purchasing a vehicle to get to work. Participants must meet income guidelines and participate in financial education seminars. “The recent recession has hit communities hard all across the Northwest area, but its impact has been especially harsh for those who were already struggling to make ends meet,” said Kevin Walker, NWAF president/CEO. “This set of grants is designed to support vital asset-building work in urban and rural places, and to leverage support from other sources.” About $665,000 was awarded by NWAF to six organizations that have demonstrated their ability to leverage investments made in their work.