(June 17, 2020) Proactive grants from CFWNC's Emergency and Disaster Response Fund (EDRF) to assist frontline human service organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic approved this week total $172,000 and bring the total amount distributed to more than $1.3 million in 18 WNC counties, including the Qualla Boundary.
“EDRF grants supported human service organizations while they waited for state and federal funds to flow,” explained CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “While relief funds are flowing, many are excluded, and needs across the region are growing as the pandemic continues to affect communities. These final EDRF awards supporting our local farms and farmers, OnTrack’s financial counseling programs and nonprofits serving marginalized communities represent not an end, but what we hope is a new commitment to partnership and equity that creates opportunity and growth for all people in the region.”
The grants are:
$50,000 to Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project – to work with regional farmers to support the local food system and determine immediate needs, to connect farms with customers in light of closures of institutional purchasers and to provide emergency mini-grants to purchase necessary PPE.
$20,000 to Asheville Housing Development Services (AHDS) for Green Opportunities’ Southside Kitchen - to train and employ residents of the Southside community to prepare and offer free meals at the Edington Center for community members and that AHDS staff deliver to elderly and homebound people.
$20,000 to CIMA - Compañeros Inmigrantes de las Montañas en Acción - to operate a hotline directing immigrants and marginalized people to resources and a food pantry in the Emma community and to offer a state-wide cash assistance program to immigrants who did not qualify for unemployment, rent and utility protection, or federal or state relief funds.
$30,000 to OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling – to offer online services including financial, unemployment, and housing/utilities assistance, to provide emergency cash flow counseling, and to deliver resources for legal aid, food, health insurance, and students loans.
$20,000 to Vecinos Farmworker Health Program – to provide COVID-19 information and resources for food and legal aid to migrant workers and to deliver free health care to migrant workers, primarily through a mobile clinic.
$12,000 to West Marion Community Forum – to support low-income communities negatively impacted by COVID-19 with small business support and basic needs.
$20,000 to WNC Workers Center - to provide workshops, primarily to farm workers and immigrants working in the poultry industry, addressing workplace safety, wage theft and women’s safety and to raise funds to help immigrants who do not qualify for unemployment, rent and utility protection, or federal or state relief funds.
With this final round of grants, CFWNC expends EDRF funds, ceases fundraising for EDRF and pivots to a new fiscal year that begins July 1. CFWNC will resume the Janirve Sudden and Urgent Needs grant program and will continue to address the pandemic through its four focus areas.
In March, CFWNC activated and seeded the EDRF with support and partnership from the Dogwood Health Trust and WNC Bridge Foundation. The effort grew as regional funders, corporations, generous individuals and CFWNC fundholders contributed to the Fund raising more than $1.3 million.
Additional funding partners include AMY Wellness Foundation, Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund, Facebook, The Glass Foundation, Lipscomb Family Foundation, Mission Health HCA Healthcare – North Carolina Division, Nantahala Health Foundation, Pisgah Health Foundation, Ramble Charitable Fund, Sutherland Foundation and Wells Fargo as well as dozens of individuals. CFWNC’s Professional Advisory Committee recently made a grant to support the effort, joining nearly 50 additional CFWNC fundholders.