Coronavirus Response Fund Awards First Grants
Response Fund Awards First Grants to Provide Relief Across the Bluegrass
United Way of the Bluegrass (UWBG) and Blue Grass Community Foundation (BGCF) joined forces earlier this month to launch a Coronavirus Response Fund to help provide critical support to vulnerable populations across the Bluegrass region and joint service area who may be adversely affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. The Fund is supporting local and regional organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic to ensure that more citizens experiencing hardships can access basic needs like food, healthcare, childcare and transportation.
Teams from UWBG and BGCF are working together to fundraise and deploy rapid-response grants. Today the Fund announced a fundraising total of more than $250,000 thanks to corporate donations, fund holders, community donors, and sales from Kentucky for Kentucky’s “Commonhealth of Kentucky” and “Team Kentucky” tee shirts.
Lead coalition partners include: Valvoline, LG&E and KU Energy, Toyota, Southland Christian Church, Alltech Foundation, the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Foundation, Immanuel Baptist Church, the Council of State Governments, Keystone Financial Group, Kentucky for Kentucky, iHeartMedia Lexington, WKYT, FOX-56 and Smiley Pete Publishing.
This week the Fund announced the first set of rapid-response grants awarded to the following partners:
- God’s Pantry: Funds will support food access and delivery for all Fayette County clients, and for Senior Citizens in surrounding counties. God’s Pantry will be supplying supplemental nutrition to clients in-need by delivering boxes that contain enough food for five days (for a family of 3). In counties where pantries are still open, but distribution centers for seniors are closed, delivery service will focus on seniors.
- The Urban League of Lexington: The Urban League operates senior housing facilities for low-income and budget-constrained seniors. In all, the Urban League is responsible for 120 occupied units in Fayette County. Funding will support individual needs assessments for each unit and supply seniors with food, medical needs, household supplies, and other items that are necessary as they shelter in place.
- Community Action Council: Funding will help provide non-food essentials to anyone in-need, including diapers, baby formula, feminine hygiene products, medical and cleaning supplies, and more. Supplies will be provided to community members and homeless individuals in-need across Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, Madison, Nicholas and Scott counties.
- Harrison Memorial Hospital: Harrison County is the epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Kentucky. Harrison Memorial is a 501c(3) community health organization. Funding will help expand testing for possible COVID-19 infection, as well as providing general medical assistance to those in-need, including access to prescription medication and medical supplies for low-income and vulnerable populations in Cynthiana and neighboring counties.
- RadioLEX: Funding will help RadioLEX increase awareness and outreach regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. RadioLEX will serve as a general source of information for all listeners but will also focus outreach to Hispanic communities and other English Language Learners (ELLs) across its listening area.
“This effort represents the very spirit of Lexington—partners coming together to strengthen and support every member of our community. The Council is using this contribution to distribute critical items such as baby formula, diapers, wipers, feminine hygiene products, and other necessities to families during this public health crisis,”Sharon Price, Executive Director of Community Action Council.
Officials will move quickly to issue additional grants as more dollars become available in order to increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities. Rapid-response grants will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to adapt to evolving needs. Grants will be issued from the Response Fund, housed at BGCF, in partnership with UWBG and in close collaboration with community advisors and local governments.