Capital Grants 2019: Food and Shelter Community Heroes

Programmatic Intent

This year, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts is offering a funding opportunity, “Food and Shelter Community Heroes”, to support local nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate homelessness and hunger in our region. This opportunity will enable organizations to purchase capital items that will assist them in helping their community members in need. This opportunity is made possible by an anonymous gift made to the Foundation, and is not expected to renew.

We expect grant funding to support (but not limited to) the purchase of the following items:

  • Washers and dryers
  • Commercial kitchen equipment
  • Shelving units
  • Furniture


An community group must be nominated to be considered for receiving a Food and Shelter Community Heroes grant. Those organizations that receive the most nominations and meet eligibility criteria will be contacted by Foundation grant officers to discuss their capital needs. Organizations that meet the funding criteria will be invited to submit a funding request. The online nomination form may be found here.

The opportunity for an individual to nominate a nonprofit organization for this grant opportunity will open May 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. and close at 11:59 p.m. on June 5, 2019.


For an organization to be eligible for nomination they must:

  • Be a nonprofit organization that provides direct services to help individuals and/or families with meeting basic needs of food and shelter (e.g., food pantries, homeless shelters and meal programs).
  • Be located in Hampden, Hampshire or Franklin counties.
  • Be in operation for a minimum of three years.

All organizations that meet the above criteria are eligible to be nominated. However, a preference will be given to those organizations with an annual operating budget of $250,000 or less. We are also looking to support capital needs in all three counties we serve.

Selection Criteria

  • Nominated organizations will be ranked by number of verifiable nominations received.
  • Preference for organizations with an annual operating budget of $250,000 or less and have been operating for three years or more.
  • We are seeking to create a balanced funding portfolio that includes organizations in the three counties we serve.

Who Can Nominate?

Anyone can nominate an organization, provided that a valid email address is supplied for each nomination. While one person can nominate multiple organizations, we will only accept one verifiable email address per nominator/per organization.

Available Funding: 

We have a total of $90,000 in funding available for this program. The minimum grant size is $1,000, and the maximum grant size is $10,000. We anticipate supporting no less than nine funding requests.

Contact Info

For more information on the Food and Shelter Community Heroes grant opportunity, please contact Sheila Toto at