Emergency and Disaster Response Fund Raises More Than $1.1 Million for Pandemic Response

Grants from the Fund Exceed $950,000

(April 27, 2020) Regional funders, corporations, generous individuals and fundholders partnered with CFWNC to support its Emergency and Disaster Response Fund (EDRF) to assist frontline human services across the region responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributions to the Fund now exceed $1.1 million. Thirteen grants approved last week total $101,650, bringing the total amount distributed to $951,900.

The grants represent a coordinated regional response to help fill critical voids as individuals, families and nonprofits await support from the government and other sources in 18 WNC counties, including the Qualla Boundary.

More than half of the grants awarded have been to address hunger and food. Senior Program Officer Virginia Dollar who is administering the grant program said, “We knew food insecurity was an issue in WNC prior to this crisis, but the exponential increase in need for emergency food has strained all points in the supply chain. While we are fortunate to live in a region that supports locally grown foods and collaborates to sustain an already fragile food system, the past few weeks have highlighted the need for significant policy reform at both the state and federal levels. Our nonprofit partners are doing all they can and finding creative ways to provide food with shrinking funding and a disappearing volunteer base.”

Seed funding from CFWNC, Dogwood Health Trust and WNC Bridge Foundation launched the effort. Other funding partners now include AMY Wellness Foundation, Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, Facebook, The Glass Foundation, Mission Health HCA Healthcare – North Carolina Division, Nantahala Health Foundation, Pisgah Health Foundation, Ramble Charitable Fund and Wells Fargo.

“This week we are pleased that Facebook joined the list of funders collaborating to help WNC nonprofits,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “CFWNC has relationships with several family foundations and appreciates the Glass Foundation’s financial support during these unprecedented times.” Lara Glass said, “Many nonprofits need emergency funds and working with CFWNC provides our foundation a means to provide help quickly and efficiently where it is most needed.”

A complete list of donors to the EDRF is at www.cfwnc.org. Tax-deductible donations of any size are welcome. Administrative fees are waived so that every dollar goes directly to assistance.