The Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation (CCRHF) in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation has granted $1.6 Million to 44 local, community based organizations in their first wave of grant funding.
The Foundation also received a generous grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, as well as individual donations from the community. Following the shelter-in-place order in mid March, CCRHF launched a COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. As of August 2020, 44 local non-profit organizations have received grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Grants were provided in five areas of need: food supply and distribution, shelter and emergency housing, financial assistance, public health interventions and other emerging needs including support for essential workers.
“The grantees moved quickly to disperse the funds into the community providing immediate assistance to those affected by COVID-19,” said CCRHF Board Chair, Bette Felton. “In addition to the five areas of need, we also focused on finding organizations that worked with marginalized communities, as well as those that could provide service to residential facilities for elders and people with disabilities.”
Hunger became an immediate concern for many residents unable to work, and local food banks noticed the change.
“Funds from the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund came at a critical juncture for the Food Bank,” said Kim Castaneda, Development Director of Food Bank of Contra Costa/Solano. “In early April, the number of individuals collecting food skyrocketed, food prices went up, shortages were common, and we lost all of our corporate volunteer groups. This timely infusion of funds helped us overcome these challenges and ensured we had enough food to meet the community need.”
Based on survey data from the grant recipients, nearly 190,000 Contra Costa County residents received food support. Additionally, over 2,500 received financial aid, and close to 70,000 were helped with other needs emerging from the pandemic. Shelter and emergency housing were also supported through the grants.
“The CCRHF grant helped us provide free emergency shelter to 26 babies and young children,” said Kimberly Baptista, Development Director for Bay Area Crisis Nursery. “The grant also made it possible for us to provide over 100 families in the Bay Area with food, diapers, formula, toiletries, and clothes during this challenging time.”
To support the fundraising efforts of the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation or for additional information about the Foundation, the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and a list of all organizations that received grants, visit www.CCRHF.org.
The wealthiest country in the history of human civilization has profound levels of “food insecurity”, “housing insecurity”, and “health insecurity” due to profound INCOME INEQUALITY made abundantly clear by a deadly epidemic. Which citizens are being served by the government we have? How does that measure up to a government “Of the people, by the people, and for the people”? Wake up! This is “bread and circuses”.