Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million to Community Foundations for COVID-19 Relief

The Baker-Polito Administration announced $10 million in immediate relief and support to individuals and households experiencing severe economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds, awarded to 14 organizations through the Community Foundations Grant Program for COVID-19 Relief, can be used for vital services such as food security, housing and utilities support, emergency childcare and transportation, and other unmet needs of the community.

“This pandemic has created challenges for families across Massachusetts, including food insecurity, housing instability, and a lack of childcare, and these grants build on the Commonwealth’s efforts to help residents access these essential services and items,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy.“We appreciate the partnership of the Legislature in moving this funding forward, and applaud the work of so many organizations across the state helping people to access critical aid.”

“We are pleased to award these grants to regional and local organizations to help achieve goals such as keeping people in their homes, providing nourishing food, and supporting remote work and school,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Jennifer Maddox. “These additional resources complement the Eviction Diversion Initiative and other administration programs that boost the critical safety nets for our most disadvantaged and at-risk communities.”

The Community Foundation Grant awards continue the Administration’s efforts to support the individuals and families who have been hit especially hard during the pandemic, and are part of Partnerships for Recovery, the comprehensive plan to stabilize and grow the Commonwealth’s economy. These one-time grants to community organizations range from $200,000 to nearly $1.7 million. Each foundation will re-grant program funds to local or regional community-based organizations that have the capacity to efficiently provide immediate relief and support for individuals and families.

The Community Foundations Grant Program for COVID-19 Relief was authorized under Chapter 124 of the Acts of 2020 (Supplemental Budget), to grant $10 million in funds to eligible Community Foundations for immediate COVID-19-related needs. Applications were evaluated based on both the Community Foundation’s history of funded activities and proposed activities to serve the intended populations, and allocations were based on a formula determined by the demographics identified in the Supplemental Budget language.  The program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

“As Massachusetts experiences a second COVID-19 surge, there are so many people suffering and in need of help,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “Our priorities in the Senate have been to provide immediate access to emergency food support, mental health support, rental and utility assistance, emergency childcare, educational support, and emergency financial support for individuals with COVID. We are fortunate to be able to work with outstanding community partners such as Foundation for MetroWest to provide these critical resources in a timely and effective manner.”

“Since the onset of the pandemic, the House has worked to provide relief to the most vulnerable among us with funding for housing, food security, unemployment benefits and economic development,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop).“Our communities need support during these unprecedented times, and these investments will go into the hands of groups that directly serve those in need across the Commonwealth.” 

In May 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration created a new Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program as part of a $56 million investment to combat urgent food insecurity for some Massachusetts families and individuals as a result of COVID-19. To date, the Administration has awarded over $17.7 million in grants through four rounds of funding, ensuring that Massachusetts’ farmers, fishermen and other local food producers are better connected to a strong, resilient food system to help mitigate future food supply and distribution disruption.

 The Boston Foundation Boston, Braintree, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Weymouth   Housing support, utilities, food security, technology needs for remote work/school, transportation           $1,690,681.

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