updated 6/23/2009 12:44:32 PM ET 2009-06-23T16:44:32

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation says it's giving $1.6 million to support activities in President Barack Obama's nationwide service initiative United We Serve.

The Battle Creek-based foundation said Monday it's donating $400,000 each to activities in the states of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and the city of New Orleans.

The foundation says it will "directly fund grass roots nonprofit organizations and state service commissions to enable them to ramp-up volunteer activities" to back United We Serve. It says it's now identifying those groups.

Obama is urging people to aid the nation's economic recovery by volunteering at schools and hospitals and aiding community programs ranging from tutoring to park cleanup.

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