Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund doles out $50K in first round |

Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund doles out $50K in first round

NNBW staff report
Chris Askin is CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada.
Photo: Marcello Rostagni Photography

RENO, Nev. — Four area nonprofits “serving the most vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis” recently received $50,200 in grants from the Community Foundation of Western Nevada’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

According to an April 30 press release from the foundation, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada received a $30,000 grant as part of the #GivingTuesdayNow $50,000 matching gift challenge.

“The Food Bank … has seen a 40% increase in people needing services,” according to the press release. “Disruptions in both their donated food and purchased food supply chains have further increased their costs at a time when the demand at the food pantries is skyrocketing.”

Northern Nevada HOPES will use a $10,000 grant to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for the 15 staff members who are seeing patients in the nonprofit’s parking lot pop-up clinic that increases total clinical space to accommodate social distancing.

Community Health Alliance (CHA) will use a $10,000 grant to pay for screening tents outside of its North Valleys, Sparks, Wells Avenue and Neil Road locations. CHA also plans to install hand-washing stations; purchase multiple thermometers, hand sanitizers and disinfected wipes; and increase janitorial and cleaning procedures throughout facilities.

Lastly, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) was given a $200 grant to buy a yearly subscription to Zoom to host mental health support groups virtually.

In addition to the grants, per the April 30 press release, $15,600 worth of gift cards from area restaurants who donated $20 of each $100 card were given to area hospitals and healthcare organizations to disperse to employees working on the front lines through the “COVID Kindness program,” in partnership with Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce, and $5,000 of healthy frozen meals were purchased for REMSA responders.

“As the crisis continues, it becomes clear who needs help,” Community Foundation President and CEO Chris Askin said in a statement. “Those who don’t qualify for government support or unemployment are showing up in desperation at nonprofit organizations that offer health care, food, and other basic critical assistance.”

On March 19, the Community Foundation launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund in cooperation with Washoe County and the cities of Reno and Sparks.

As the crisis continues, the fund’s Advisory Committee “may shift the emphasis to other pressing needs in the community for the next round of grants,” according to the foundation.

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