$1 million in Boston Resiliency Fund grants distributed to 14 organizations
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee today announced the distribution of $1 million in grants to assist 14 organizations working to help residents in the City of Boston impacted most by the COVID-19 pandemic, marking over $16 million in total funding distributed to 179 organizations since the Fund was first launched in March.
The focus of this round of funding is to continue supporting the expansion of testing at community health centers, building on the Mayor's announcement today of a rapid expansion of citywide testing capacity, increasing food access for residents and supporting Boston's small business community, ensuring parents and families have basic, essential needs to care for their children, and to continue supporting neighborhood-based organizations. Of the 14 organizations, 40 percent are led by a person of color and 53 percent are led by a woman.
"During the ongoing public health emergency, Bostonians have shown their true colors and have demonstrated that we can lean on each other during difficult times," said Mayor Walsh. "The City of Boston is proud to quickly deploy these critical resources made available by the generosity of Boston's residents and businesses, to support organizations in our community that are on the frontlines of providing needed assistance to our residents."
To date, including this most recent round of funding, the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised over $29.4 million from over 5,400 individual donors. The Fund will continue accepting donations from individuals, organizations and philanthropic partners who wish to contribute and offer their support. All of the donations will be awarded to local organizations, with the majority of future grants to be made through the end of May. Organizations are encouraged to complete a statement of interest to be considered for future grants.
The grants awarded today range in size and will be awarded to the following organizations:
Expanding testing at neighborhood-based community health centers:
The Boston Resiliency Fund has now dedicated $1.1 million to expand COVID-19 testing and conduct culturally appropriate outreach and education at 15 community health centers across City of Boston neighborhoods. This week, grants include:
Increasing food access through local restaurants in the neighborhoods:
CommonWealth Kitchen: Starting in early May, Commonwealth Kitchen (CWK), in partnership with local, minority-owned restaurants in neighborhoods across the City, will launch the second phase of CommonTable, an effort to provide free meals to needy families and seniors at community sites. The program will be piloted with 3 restaurants, Tawakal Halal Café, 50Kitchen, and Achilitos Taqueria. By the end of May, CWK expects to have 10+ restaurants participating, with the goal of reaching 20 restaurants in June. CWK is working with the City of Boston's Office of Food Access to identify the pick-up sites.
"CommonWealth Kitchen's CommonTable initiative mobilizes our diverse community of restaurants and other food businesses to feed families in need," said Jen Faigel, Executive Director of Commonwealth Kitchen. "It puts money back into our hardest-hit communities, employing neighbors to feed their neighborhoods. We're thrilled to have the support from Mayor Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund to help us jumpstart this effort."
Providing essentials to parents for their young children:
- Action for Boston Community Development: ABCD will increase emergency distribution of baby formula to families with infants through food pantries and deliveries where possible.
- Families First: Families First provides virtual parenting programs for parents with young children on topics like stress reduction and resilience and connects parents with emergency food resources and basic need items.
- Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts, Inc.: Family Nurturing Center coordinates neighborhood-based family support programs on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to assess needs of families. FNC will distribute diapers, wipes, and cleaning/hygiene supplies to families who are participating in FNC or partner programs.
"Family Nurturing Center staff have been working remotely to support Boston Families with Nurturing Parenting education and strategies. As we reach out to families, we are overwhelmed by the level of need we are seeing for concrete supports in the form of food, diapers, toiletries and other items," said Matthew LiPuma, Executive Director of the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. "We are thrilled to have this support from the Mayor's Boston Resiliency Fund as we continue to work with our partners all over the city to address their basic needs."
Continued support for neighborhood-based organizations:
- BEST Corp.: BEST will distribute grocery cards, help with internet access costs, and provide financial assistance for unemployed hospitality workers who do not meet the criteria for other stimulus funds but are in great need.
- Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston: BMA staff will purchase grocery gift cards and engage with their network of pastors and local congregations to immediately begin food card distribution.
- East Boston Social Centers: East Boston Social Centers, in partnership with the ICA Watershed and Grace Church Food Pantry, will deliver food three days per week to vulnerable families, children, and seniors who are finding it challenging to get what they need due to increased demand & scarcity of goods.
- First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain: The First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain will continue to serve and deliver hot meals from their commissary kitchen three days per week to seniors, homeless individuals, and low-income Bostonians.
- Mattapan Greater Boston Technology Learning Center, Inc.: The Mattapan Tech Covid-19 Citizens Response will continue to provide financial assistance for immigrant families in need and provide food for the guests that are temporarily housed through the response effort.
- Gilbert Albert Community Center (GACC): GACC and St. Mark Community Education Program will partner with a local restaurant to deliver healthy, culturally-appropriate meals to immigrant and refugee adults five days per week.
- Harvest on the Vine Food Pantry: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvest on the Vine is serving more Charlestown families, especially the families living in the Bunker Hill Housing Development, and will use funds to supplement supplies from the Greater Boston Food Bank.
- MissionSAFE: MissionSAFE will continue to deliver food and supplies to families and seniors who are unable to leave their homes. MissionSAFE is also providing delivery capacity for other community groups, such as Elevate Boston and The Breakfast Spot.
As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are quickly evolving and potentially long-lasting, the City and the Steering Committee will work closely with non-profit partners and service providers to understand how their needs will change. As a result, the priorities of the fund may change as the needs of Boston residents evolve.
The Boston Resiliency Fund exists within the Boston Charitable Trust, an existing 501(c)(3) designated trust fund managed by the City of Boston's Treasury Department. For more information on how to make a donation, please visit: boston.gov/resiliency-fund. For general inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.