In Tenth Grant Round of Nearly $950K to Local Nonprofits, COVID Response Fund Targets Community Centers, Food Security, Education

Amherst Survival Center Director Touts Swift and Flexible Response

June 16, 2020—The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has completed its tenth round of grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley, totaling nearly $950K to local nonprofits addressing immediate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest round targets community centers, food security and education services.

Including this latest round, the Response Fund has awarded over $4 million in grants to nonprofits in Western Massachusetts that are on the front lines of serving vulnerable populations affected by the crisis.

Lev Ben-Ezra, Executive Director of the Amherst Survival Center which has received consistent funding from the COVID Response Fund due to the ongoing need for food assistance, said, “Not only are people impacted by unemployment and underemployment, but social isolation means that many support networks people rely on for rides, for example, have been disrupted. A person whose normal grocery routine relies on coupons and shopping at five or six grocery stores can no longer do that.

“We’re so unbelievably grateful for the Foundation’s swift response in this crisis, and the flexibility of that support. This crisis has required such significant levels of creativity and innovation. Those contributions have enabled us to continue responding with flexibility.”

Nonprofits that received grants in this round will use the funds for PPE and related supplies; food; community outreach and health education; trauma/recovery support for front-line workers and those impacted by COVID-19; stress-reduction resources; and basic needs. The 29 Western Massachusetts nonprofits that received grants are:

  • Boys and Girls Club Family Center (Acorn Street)
  • Brick House Community Resource Center
  • Caring Health Center
  • Catholic Charities Agency of the Diocese of Springfield
  • Community Health Center of Franklin County
  • Enlace de Familias de Holyoke/Holyoke Family Network
  • Gandara Mental Health Center
  • Gardening the Community/TSNE Missionworks
  • Greater Springfield Senior Services
  • Greenfield Community College Foundation
  • Grow Food Northampton
  • Holyoke Community College Foundation
  • Just Roots
  • LifePath
  • Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley
  • New North Citizens’ Council
  • Northwestern Children’s Advocacy Project
  • ServiceNet
  • Somali Bantu Community of Springfield
  • Springfield Day Nursery Corporation DBA Square One
  • Springfield Food Policy Council/Springfield Partners for Community Action
  • Springfield Rescue Mission
  • Springfield Technical Community College Foundation
  • Survival Centers/Amherst Survival Center
  • The Gardner Group DBA On-Site Academy
  • Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute
  • United Way of Franklin County
  • Urban League of Springfield
  • Viability, Inc.

The Response Fund has raised $6.3 million from 630 donors, including foundations, businesses and individuals, and has received resources from the statewide Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has provided $2.8 million in funding to support the Community Foundation’s response to the pandemic crisis in our region. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund supports those across the state most impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis, focusing on essential frontline workers and vulnerable populations, including the homeless, immigrant populations, people with disabilities and those facing food insecurity. The Fund works in concert with regional community foundations and nonprofit leaders who partner with local leaders to understand the response and relief landscape, strategically filling in where gaps are pronounced.

The Community Foundation is requesting applications from local nonprofits for its continued grantmaking in the coming weeks and months. Organizations seeking grants for resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to complete a short online application on the Community Foundation website at communityfoundation.org/request-for-information. New grants are awarded every week.

According to Katie Allan Zobel, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, “We continue to target our grant making on the most vulnerable and the nonprofit organizations serving them. Food and nutrition, health, education and front-line community-serving organizations are included in this round. Our staff and the workers in these organizations are stepping up in a remarkable way and we appreciate all of our donors, large and small, who are helping us respond during these extraordinary times.”

The COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley was established to provide emergency grants to community nonprofit organizations serving the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic in Western Massachusetts.

The Community Foundation welcomes additional donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. 100% of donations go to community needs. Gifts can be made online at: communityfoundation.org/covid19.