$5.7M Helps R.I. Respond to COVID-19

Latest round of funding from COVID-19 Response Fund brings total grantmaking to $5.7 million.

Children’s Friend is one of 25 organizations that received funding in the latest round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund, which now has awarded $5.7 million to 130 organizations since last month. The Providence nonprofit will use its grant to provide emergency support for families, including help paying for food, rent, utilities, and medical expenses.

“Children’s Friend continues to support our most vulnerable children and families through this crisis. As with most disasters, those most vulnerable feel the negative impacts first and most harshly,” said David Caprio, president and CEO. “Two dozen staff have been working on-site every day in Providence and Central Falls, throughout the crisis, to ensure over 6,000 families have access to food checks, in a safe way.”

In addition to Children’s Friend, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale in South Kingstown, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, Progreso Latino in Central Falls, and Thundermist Health Center of Warwick are among the organizations receiving grants in this round of funding.

“As we continue to learn more about the heroic work happening every day to serve neighbors in our community, we are hearing from more and more nonprofit leaders who are facing impossible choices, such as reducing frontline staff and cutting essential services,” said United Way of Rhode Island president and CEO Cortney Nicolato. “Rhode Islanders depend on the nonprofit community every day, but today financial support is more critical than ever: our support has the power to provide services to the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders who’ve historically been disproportionately impacted by health disparities.”

See the Full List of Grantees

The COVID-19 Response Fund was created by United Way and the Rhode Island Foundation to support nonprofits serving the community through the pandemic. Grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000. Funds will help local agencies provide food, housing, and healthcare to Rhode Islanders affected by the crisis. Additionally, funding was awarded for medical supplies for care providers facing unprecedented challenges to maintaining operations and delivering services to those most in need.

The Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale will use its grant to buy additional supplies for its food pantry, which has seen rising demand, and to provide home-delivered meals to seniors, people without transportation, and people with compromised health.

“The demand is nearly overwhelming. We’re seeing people we never saw before. It’s a whole new level of need. The grant gives us the resources to continue being a safety net for those who otherwise might go hungry,” said Kate Brewster, executive director.

“The need is beyond even what we expected. While generous donors have already contributed $7 million, we’re seeing demand for funding grow even faster. Our backlog of applications significantly exceeds the resources that are left and we expect requests will grow by several million dollars, which is why we must keep raising money for the fund in all amounts,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.


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