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Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund Contributes $415,000 to Agencies for Economic Relief

Fund has provided vital funding to 11 diverse organizations

(Mar. 31, 2020) – The Community Foundation announced March 18 the establishment of Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. This fund is the unified community relief effort to support organizations impacted by novel coronavirus and the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Through the generosity of individual and foundation donors throughout the community, the Fund released its second round of rapid relief grants on Friday. Those grants went to the following organizations:

  • YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South: $100,000 to provide food service for Shelby County Schools students
  • 275 Food Project: $50,000 to help protect farmer livelihoods while distributing fresh produce to support agencies
  • Welcome to Memphis: $30,000: to award emergency grants to restaurant and hospitality workers
  • ArtsMemphis: $25,000 to award emergency grants to artists
  • Community Alliance for the Homeless: $25,000 to house the newly homeless for 30 days
  • Neighborhood Christian Centers: $20,000 to provide family support and food stability
  • Alpha Omega Veterans Services: $7,500 to offer supportive services to homeless veterans
  • OUTMemphis: $7,500: to compile and distribute food and hygiene kits

The eight grant awards were in addition to the previous week’s grants of $50,000 each to MIFA, Mid-South Food Bank, and Whole Child Strategies.

"As a community-based partner, we are thankful for the opportunity to do our part and respond to the immediate needs of our community, especially our children,” said Jerry Martin, president and CEO for YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South. “We cannot do this work alone and are grateful to donors to the COVID-19 response fund for helping us feed our children and provide safe places for children of healthcare and other essential workers. It takes everyone working together to sustain this work.”

Representatives from the partnership agencies will award grants weekly based on the amount of funds received. To date, donors have contributed $781,000 total, with $415,000 awarded in its first two weeks of operation. The grant committee allocates 60% of available funds to immediate needs and reserves 40% for recovery and resilience funding in the coming months.

“The diversity of this week’s grants underscores the far-reaching impact this pandemic is having in every corner of our community,” said Bob Fockler, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. “This is a compassionate effort led by philanthropic experts but driven by concerned Memphians. Your dollars are helping create a safety net for people desperately in need of help.”

The Fund seeks contributions from concerned Mid-Southerners. To donate online and learn more about the fund, including its weekly grant distributions, click here.

About the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund
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The Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, in partnership with City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, United Way of the Mid-South, and Momentum Nonprofit Partners/Mid-South Philanthropy Network. It provides flexible funding to nonprofit organizations serving community members dealing with the economic consequences of the outbreak in West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, and Northern Mississippi.