CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Six central Virginia organizations are getting thousands of dollars in grants to help fight food insecurity.

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy hosted a Community Nonprofit Grant Awards Ceremony on Friday, December 7, led by students in professor Paul Martin’s “NGOs and Foundations in the Public Policy Area” course.

Through a partnership with a local philanthropic foundation, the Adiuvans Foundation, the class was able to donate money to select nonprofits to affect change in food insecurity and food justice in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties.

Food insecurity occurs when people are not sure where their next meal is coming from.

The Frank Batten School brought together a select group of food policy experts, University of Virginia students, and local nonprofit leaders from Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the central Virginia region for the ceremony.

The award ceremony presented $80,000 in grants to Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, City Schoolyard Garden, Fluvanna Meals on Wheels, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Louisa County Resource Council, and New Roots (IRC).

Through these grants awarded to nonprofits, the Frank Batten School seeks to create a tangible impact on food security and justice in the Charlottesville community.

Students from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy say they're a philanthropy class, which means they were focused on strategic giving to organizations.

Undergrad Batten Student Brendin Duckett says, “The key word there is strategic, you know a lot of giving now of days is done without actually doing research into what the issues are. Our class is focused on becoming actually educated on the issues so that we're not just funders, but partners with these organizations.”

An organization receiving the grant said it was inspirational to see young people taking a hard look at some of the issues, and figuring out ways to make a difference.

Since 2012, students in Martin’s course have distributed more than $750,000 to local organizations focused on various social issues.