Johnston nonprofit receives grant to help with food, rent

Torri Donley

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own. Young people volunteering to sort donations for charity food drive (Getty Images) A Johnston nonprofit is among 19 organizations across the state will be able to help RI’ers with food, rent, utilities and other […]

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Young people volunteering to sort donations for charity food drive
Young people volunteering to sort donations for charity food drive (Getty Images)

A Johnston nonprofit is among 19 organizations across the state will be able to help RI’ers with food, rent, utilities and other expenses thanks to $1 million in the latest round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

“Rhode Islanders are struggling to afford basic necessities. These grants will help backbone community service organizations around the state fill the gaps as people deal with having even fewer resources,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation. “We are so grateful to the donors who have stepped up throughout the pandemic. We will continue to connect with charitable Rhode Islanders to support the nonprofit organizations on the frontlines of providing critical community services.”

The Tri-County Community Action Program in Johnston will distribute grocery store gift cards and vouchers good at local retailers, provide funding for items not traditionally covered by state or federal support program such as eye glasses, over-the-counter medications and personal care items ; provide emergency housing assistance and purchase hard to find items such as toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes to distribute to elderly residents who are sheltering in place.

“Many clients have lost all or part of their income due to layoffs and closures. This has disproportionately affected low-wage workers and the elderly, who often rely on family to supplement their fixed income,” said Joe DeSantis, executive director.

“Clients are not likely to have savings to help close the gap between their normal weekly wage and the partial wage paid by unemployment. Because this crisis is affecting everyone, our low-income and elderly clients cannot ‘band together’ or rely on friends and relatives as they often do in these types of lost-income situations,” he said.

In addition to Tri-County, the Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston, the Community Action Partnership of Providence and Progreso Latino in Central Falls also received funding. The grants range from $10,000 to $75,000.

With this round of grants, the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Foundation has raised and awarded approximately $7 million since March 27 focused on those most vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $47 million and awarded a record $56 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2019. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

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