April 16, 2020

Rubin Community Health Fund Redirects Funds to Support Communities at Risk of COVID-19

The focus of the Hortense and Louis Rubin Community Health Fund is to support programs for the prevention, management, and treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and related health issues. With the increased demands related to COVID-19, the fund redirected its priorities this year to support organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic, knowing many people at risk of kidney disease are also most vulnerable to COVID-19.


Crucial to the health of our community, the Foundation is excited to announce $427,500 in grants to the following organizations who are continuing efforts to prevent, manage and treat kidney disease and its risk factors.

  • The Baby Institute, Inc: $12,500 for healthy food and educational books and activities for families that are underresourced in Albany.
  • Capital Roots: $50,000 for providing essential food services including the Veggie Mobiles, Healthy Stores, produce markets and community gardens.
  • Catskill Community Center: $10,000 to expand its food pantry and food services.
  • Comfort Food of Washington County: $50,000 to expand its essential food services and resource navigation for basic needs.
  • East Side Recreation Center/Hope 7 Community Center: $50,000 to continue its essential food services.
  • Food Pantries of the Capital District: $50,000 to increase the food delivery program to get food to pantries, increased capacity for the community food access referral calls, and emergency funds for pantries low on resources.
  • Homeless and Travelers Aid Society (HATAS): $20,000 to support their Feed and Read program, which provides healthy food and books to the children in the City of Albany.
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York: $70,000 to support their Medical Legal Partnership to identify and resolve urgent civil legal needs as well as their rental assistance services.
  • Northeast Kidney Foundation: $10,000 to provide resources for their Patient Emergency Funds.
  • Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region: $75,000 to increase the capacity of providing basic needs and resource navigation as well as supporting Community Health Workers who provide access to food and resources.
  • Watervliet Civic Chest: $30,000 to support their Food is Fuel program that provides nutritious and healthy food for children in the City of Watervliet.


“Our referral line call volume has nearly quadrupled since the coronavirus pandemic started,” said Natasha Pernicka, Executive Director of the Food Pantries of the Capital District. “We thank the Community Foundation and the Rubin Fund for your support during this crisis. One of our referral line team members shared this from someone who was helped recently on our Food Access Referral Line”:

“Sara” had a call that they would be delivering tomorrow for her. She is so excited, and I am very thrilled that she’ll be able to start eating some nutritional food and hopefully be able to maintain her weight during this time and not get sick. God bless all of you for all the wonderful work that you do in our communities I can’t even imagine us not having you people to lean on when we need to.”

For more information on the Rubin Community Health Fund, please contact Deborah Ruggiero, MS, RN, MCHES, Vice President, Community Health Initiatives at druggiero@cfgcr.org.