Akron Community Foundation Awards Grants to Support Nonprofits During Pandemic

Mar 26, 2020

Akron Community Foundation has issued grants specifically to nonprofits needing assistance as they continue operations admid the pandemic. More grants are already in the works.

The foundation awarded nearly $50,000 to nine local nonprofits. It awarded $10,000 dollars to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank out of the foundation's  Food Pantry Fund.

The remaining grants of $5,000 or less came from the foundation’s newly created Community Response Fund, which was seeded with an initial $100,000.

Since it launched last week, the fund has grown through contributions from existing donor funds, private foundations, corporate donors and individuals.

The grants target nonprofits in Summit and Medina counties that are supporting individuals affected by the coronavirus.

Many small nonprofits are unprepared for a crisis as overwhelming as the pandemic, said President and CEO John T. Petures Jr.

“They don’t have any idea of how to put together a crisis plan or some bit of sustainability or operational and business continuity planning to get past this,” he said. “We need to help some of these folks come out on the other side of this whole because they’re pretty critical to the health and well-being of this community.”

To determine which nonprofits receive grants in the second round of funding, the foundation’s Community Investment Committee will work through the weekend, Petures said.

“We expect that that committee will this weekend look at another 18 requests and will similarly make some wave of grants up to $5,000 to each nonprofit, some for urgent needs food, clothing and shelter and some of them primarily for urgent operational needs,” he said.

Typically each spring, the foundation awards grants to arts and culture organizations. Money from that fund could also be used to help arts groups struggling because of the coronavirus, Petures said. Those grants would be separate from the Community Response Fund, which will issue grants on a continual basis throughout the pandemic.

Visit the foundation website for more information about the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits or to apply for a grant.

Nonprofits receiving grants include:

Akron Area YMCA, to support four local pandemic care centers to provide structured and safe environments for children of essential workforce employees, $5,000

Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, to replenish food inventory and address increased demands as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, $15,000 (includes $10,000 from the Food Pantry Capacity Fund)

Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA), to provide protective equipment for employees and convert its emergency food pantry into a carryout model to minimize the community spread of COVID-19, $5,000

Business Volunteers Unlimited, to provide COVID-19 outreach and support to nonprofit organizations in Summit & Medina Counties, $2,500

Cathy’s House, to provide rent assistance for residents impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, $3,000

Friends of WKSU, to provide free, critical news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, $2,500

International Institute of Akron, to support remote education, social services and food delivery to immigrants and refugees, $5,000

Red Oak Behavioral Health, to continue to provide mental health and addictive services for adults and children during this outbreak, $5,000

South Street Ministries, to adapt community-focused programing to distribute food, first aid and emergency supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, $5,000