The Vermont Community Foundation has distributed its third and largest round of grants totaling $622,334 from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund. The latest grants are designed to support the rapidly changing landscape of relief efforts throughout the state and are focused on youth and family centers, mental and behavioral health services, housing and legal services, and organizations that work with communities of color, indigenous people, and migrant workers. Among the grants is a $60,000 award to the Vermont Foodbank to purchase and process surplus local milk for the charitable food system through a partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
The Community Foundation also announced that donations to the VT COVID-19 Response Fund exceeded $5.19 million, a testament to scale of the challenge posed by the pandemic in Vermont, and to the generosity of Vermonters and others determined to see the state through the current crisis. The Community Foundation established the Response Fund to provide individuals, businesses, and other grantmakers a one-stop shop where donations are pooled and deployed in a coordinated manner that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
While recent rounds of grants have been focused on immediate relief efforts, the Community Foundation has earmarked a significant portion of donations for the coming recovery efforts to rebuild community services in a way that gives more Vermonters the opportunity to thrive.
“We are at the very beginning of what will be a long process of rebuilding,” says President & CEO Dan Smith. “As difficult as that process will be, the real tragedy will be if we don’t seize the opportunity to create greater resilience for our communities and the people who live here in the face of future challenges. The hardest but most rewarding work for Vermont is on the horizon.”
The Foundation gives out grants from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund every few weeks in consultation with an advisory committee that provides insight into developing needs throughout Vermont.
Since its inception, the VT COVID-19 Response Fund has distributed $1.67 million. In addition, more than $2.2 million has been granted by donors who have charitable funds housed at the Community Foundation, an amount that is expected to grow as the crisis evolves.
“In the face of declining giving nationally, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of generosity from the Community Foundation’s fundholders, both in their gifts to the Response Fund as well as in their own distinct grantmaking,” says Stacie Fagan, Vice President for Philanthropy. “Our fundholders are giving more, giving earlier, and giving more flexibly. They walk down the same main streets that you and I do. They know it will take an unprecedented philanthropic response to get communities back on their feet after the immediate relief needs are addressed, and they’re in this with us for the long run.”
For the full list of grant recipients from the third round of grantmaking, visit vtcovid19response.org/stories-and-announcements/grants-3.
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. This includes helping to coordinate philanthropic response in times of crisis and challenge. The Foundation is committed to helping Vermont communities that are impacted by COVID-19 by responding to immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts. Visit VTCOVID19Response.org to learn more.