The Capital Region Community COVID-19 Response Fund, a collaboration between United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, with other philanthropy, government and business partners has raised $585,000 to be deployed to local 501c3 organizations on the frontlines working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. The Fund deployed $200,000 in first-round grants on March 31, 2020, to 15 local organizations that are addressing the critical needs as assessed by county and city emergency response and community advisors.
In early April, another $97,500 was deployed in the second round of grants to seven organizations on the frontlines addressing urgent needs across the Capital Region – mobilizing food and supplies and providing access to safe and reliable shelter to economically impacted or homeless individuals and families.
Second-round grant recipients:
- AVillage…Inc. – expanding its Innovation Blocks Program to provide residents in the South End of Albany with timely and correct information on health, food and other essential resources.
- Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) – increasing capacity of its food pantry to meet the increased need of food, diapers, baby formula, and other essential household items.
- Homeless and Travelers Aid Society (HATAS) – transitioning homeless individuals and families from temporary shelters to permanent homes, supporting the homeless through its 24/7 crisis hotline and maintaining its Feed and Read backpack program, which provides a backpack of food and a book for the weekends to over 600 children in need in the City School District of Albany.
- Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York – maintaining all regular food receiving and distributing operations, providing additional distribution of food in areas where food pantries are closing and at the request of local communities where the need is rising due to people being out of work, finding new partners to continue additional distribution in gap areas, providing extra food to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other prepared meal programs to help them meet increased requests for assistance, continuing to provide additional food to the Food Bank’s school partners that operate Backpack Programs to ensure children have enough food on weekends and expanding outreach and distribution to seniors in need.
- Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. – increasing capacity to deliver food and personal care items to residents in need through its mobile food pantry and providing referral assistance for rent, unemployment, SNAP, immigrant services and utility payments.
- Schoharie County Community Action Program, Inc. – increasing its capacity to meet the rising need in the community for assistance with housing, utilities, heating resources, food, and transportation.
- United Tenants of Albany, Inc. – providing frontline triage and response to Albany tenants in emergency situations who are unable to pay rent due to loss of income, illness or caregiving circumstances as a result of the outbreak.
“With children out of school, people out of work, and the elderly unable or reluctant to travel to grocery stores there has been a significant increase in the need for food assistance in all 23 counties we serve,” said Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. “This grant will help us respond to the urgent food needs in our region by expanding our outreach and distribution. We are committed to meeting the food needs of individuals and families in our community who are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Over 23 corporate and philanthropic organizations have contributed to the fund including Arrow Family of Companies, Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company, Bank of America, BlueShield of Northeastern New York’s Blue Fund, B’Nai B’rith Gideon Foundation, CDPHP, Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, GE Healthcare, Hunt Real Estate Charitable Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyBank, MVP Health Care, National Grid, NYSUT, Price Chopper’s Golub Foundation, Regeneron, the Schenectady Foundation, Tri-City Rentals/Massry Realty Partners, the Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, United Way of the Greater Capital Region, UPS, and Wells Fargo Advisors. In addition to these organizations, over $23,800 in individual donations have been raised by United Way as well as over 21 donor-advised funds at the Community Foundation have contributed to the relief efforts.
Nonprofit organizations in need of financial support due to increased demand for their services as a result of COVID-19 should inform the committee of their needs by completing this online survey. The committee is continuing to evaluate emerging needs as funding becomes available.
Interested donors and partners should contact John Eberle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations to the fund can be made online or text COVID19 to 41444. For more information including an updated list of partners, please visit the fund page.