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Centre Foundation Awards $100,000 in Grants from COVID-19 Action Fund to Local Nonprofits

by on June 09, 2020 5:45 PM

Centre Foundation has awarded $100,000 in grants to 14 local nonprofit organizations that are addressing needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation announced on Tuesday.

The grants are the first from the COVID-19 ACTION (Activating Contributions to Invest in Operations of Nonprofits) Fund. The fund was established in April with $125,000 from the Centre Foundation Community Impact Fund and $250,000 from the Knight Foundation's donor-advised fund.

"We are excited to release this first wave of funding into our community,” said Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation executive director. “We know these programs will make a positive impact in the lives of our community members despite these challenging times.”

Grants will support health and human services programs providing food, shelter, telemedicine and other essential needs.

The initial grant recipients include:

- AIDS Resource Alliance will receive $2,600 for its food delivery program which provides no-cost food assistance to immunocompromised clients receiving case management services, exhibiting financial hardships resulting from the pandemic and residing within Centre County.

- Centre Safe will receive $10,000 to upgrade its counseling and therapy technology, which will allow 80-100 survivors of domestic and sexual violence to maintain social distancing while improving accessibility to HIPPA compliant platforms and technological hardware such as iPads and laptops.

- Centre Volunteers in Medicine will receive $10,000 to expand telemedicine services in response to COVID-19. CVIM will expand the availability of telemedicine visits, provide triage care, screen dental emergencies, expand behavioral health visits and expand case management services.

- Child Development and Family Council of Centre County will receive $5,000 for the Centre County COVID-19 Safety Net Fund for Children and Youth. The supplemental program will dispense funds to certified early learning programs to assist eligible families in paying for child care services as they return to work. 

- CommonFood will receive $10,000 to purchase food for the 170 food-insecure families it serves in Bellefonte, Port Matilda, State College, Julian and surrounding areas. 

- Discovery Space of Central PA will receive $5,000 to manufacture 500 face shields that will be donated to local nonprofits, healthcare agencies and businesses that come into contact with high-risk community members.

- FaithCentre will receive $7,000 to purchase fresh produce and protein sources for its Food Bank Purchase Program. This program serves more than 500 low-income and food-insecure people monthly.

- Housing Transitions will receive $5,000 for the Centre House’s Hotel Shelter Program, which temporarily houses individuals in nearby hotels while they work with case managers to secure permanent housing. 

- Howard Volunteer Fire Company will receive $5,000 for the Howard EMS QRS, a non-transport EMS service that provides patient stabilization in rural areas before an ambulance can arrive.

- Out of the Cold: Centre County will receive $8,400 for its Hotel Shelter Program. To curtail the effects of the pandemic, guests of the overnight shelter program have been moved from congregate settings to hotel rooms and the overnight shelter season has been extended for an additional four weeks. 

- Penns Valley Youth Center will receive $10,000 for its meal program, which drops off food to more than 400 homes experiencing food insecurity. Funds from the grant will be used to cover expenses for delivery vans, drivers and fuel costs.

- State College Meals on Wheels will receive $10,000 to feed the elderly and support local growers and restaurants. Currently serving more than 150 homebound people, Meals on Wheels will expand its services to include recently released patients from hospital stays, as well as others with short term needs for nutritious delivered meals. Grant funds will be used to prioritize sourcing food from local growers and farmers.

- Strawberry Fields will receive $2,000 to purchase safety supplies such as plexiglass dividers and cleaning and hygiene products for its administrative offices, 15 residential programs, and two retail operations: Scraps & Skeins and Good Day Cafe. 

- YMCA of Centre County will receive $10,000 for its Anti-Hunger/Emergency Feeding Program. The YMCA currently provides 1,500 meals per day at 25 drive-through sites and has expanded its weekend food bag program for families, as well as soup drive-throughs for seniors and veterans. Funding will help to both continue and expand these offerings.

The remaining $275,000 from the COVID-19 ACTION Fund will be distributed in two subsequent phases.

In phase two, $150,000 in funding will be made available support operational and program needs of nonprofits in their efforts to provide services during the COVID-19 crisis. Funding will not be limited to health human services programs and may be used for operating costs or programs of local nonprofits have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Applications will open in July and grants will be announced in August.

Phase three funding of $125,000 will be made available later this year and "will provide support for strategic planning for nonprofits as they face the rapidly changing needs in the community as a result of COVID-19," according to Centre Foundation.

Gifts to the COVID-19 ACTION Fund can be made at








Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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