COVID-19 Community Fund Grants Reach Hardest Hit Populations

Over $670,000 Distributed for Communities of Color, Seniors, Low-Income and High Risk Populations

Close to $1.3 Million Distributed From Fund; $2.6 Million Raised in First Six Weeks

April 28, 2020 (New Haven, CT) Three weeks after distributing its first round of grants totaling $600,900, the Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund has released a second round of grants totaling $677,000 to 36 organizations. The Fund is a community-wide effort to raise money for and get resources quickly to Greater New Haven's nonprofits and the people they serve affected by COVID-19. It launched on March 20 out of a partnership between The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and United Way of Greater New Haven.

“Our understanding of the depth of the COVID-19 crisis on our community and nonprofits expands daily," said William W. Ginsberg, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. "We continually evaluate how to best serve our region in this challenging time, and are deeply concerned at the further widening in health and economic disparities between communities of color and other populations in our region. In this round of grants we are reaching our community’s hardest-hit populations through agencies that have long served these neighborhoods.”

“The racial/ethnic disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic are clear,” says Dr. Marcella Nuñez-Smith, who serves on The Foundation’s Board and is a member of the COVID-19 Community Fund Grantmaking Committee. Nuñez-Smith is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management, and Director of Equity at the Research and Innovation Center & Center for Research Engagement at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation.

Data from Connecticut’s Department of Public Health as of April 21 show the rate of COVID-19 cases in the state to be higher among African American and Latino residents (two times and one-and-one-half times higher, respectively) than White and Asian residents. African Americans are also experiencing the highest death toll, followed by Whites and then Latinos.

“Intergenerational and structural disinvestment in communities are contributing factors to the disparities we are seeing. Communities of color have limited access to high quality healthcare and are less able to social distance because they are more likely to live in densely populated neighborhoods and households. The jobs they hold are more likely to be low-wage and deemed essential, so they don’t have the ability to work from home. And, they often have greater distrust in institutional messaging,” says Nuñez-Smith.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights longstanding challenges across our region with regard to access and equity for communities of color. The data make it clear that a proactive strategy to address these disparities is crucial to building a more inclusive vision of recovery,” says Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University, Chair of The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors and Chair of the COVID-19 Community Fund Grantmaking Committee. “It was a deliberate action on the part of the Committee to ensure much needed resources are available to African American and Latino-serving nonprofits.”

“The inequities that exist in our community along racial and economic lines have become even more pronounced in the face of COVID-19,” said United Way of Greater New Haven President and CEO Jennifer Heath. “It is critical that we consciously work to address these issues in our COVID-19 response grantmaking, and this round of funding reflects our commitment to the hard work our partners are doing to address this.”

The staff at The Foundation and United Way are in regular contact with Greater New Haven’s nonprofits, gathering information about the region’s needs. Food pantries and soup kitchens are seeing increases in demand for food, and the food crisis has stimulated stronger coordination among a wide and diverse group of organizations. Safety of staff and populations served remains a concern. Nonprofits with long service to vulnerable communities and trust within those communities are supporting people in new ways, ensuring that basic needs are being met.

For these initial two grant rounds, recipients of The Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund were determined after staff research and outreach so as not to further burden the already overwhelmed nonprofit sector with a formal application process. Initial focus has been to get resources quickly to the nonprofit basic needs, health and social service providers in the region. Grant recipients are voted on by a volunteer committee made up of current and former Community Foundation and United Way board members. Members of the Committee are Khalilah L. Brown-Dean (bio), Andrew Eder (bio), Judith Meyers (bio), Flemming Norcott, Jr. (bio), Marcella Nuñez-Smith (bio), and Diane Young Turner (bio).

Of the $2.6 Million that has been raised since late March, $500,000 has come from The Community Foundation’s own resources and the balance from individuals, family foundations and businesses. Nearly $1.3 Million has been granted since the Fund was launched; a complete list of Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund grant recipients and ways to donate to the Fund are at

“We are grateful to the donors from across the community, with gifts large and small, who have contributed to the Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund to make these early grants possible,” says Ginsberg, who reminds the community that additional financial resources will be needed to continue to address the immediate as well as long term needs that arise.

Second Round of Grants from GNH COVID-19 Community Fund

Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, Inc. (website)
To support meal delivery and cash assistance to homebound elders and people with disabilities.

APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health (website)
To support the purchase of meals for home delivery and grocery store gift cards for clients.

Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation (website)
To support the provision of food and basic needs to families.

Breakthrough Church (website)
To support the purchase of additional food and basic needs items to distribute at the food pantry.

Cathedral of Higher Praise (website)
To support the purchase of food, storage and increased hours of operation to meet the increased demand for food for Fair Haven neighborhood residents.

Central Connecticut Coast YMCA (website)
To support the purchase of food and supplies for the childcare site serving children of healthcare workers at the New Haven YMCA.

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc. (website)
To support the purchase of meals for clients and personal protective equipment for staff and clients.

Community Dining Room (website)
To support the purchase of to-go food containers, bags and cutlery in order to provide lunch and dinner and brunch on the weekends to residents on the Shoreline.

Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (website)
To provide emergency financial support for Dixwell and Newhallville families severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Connecticut Violence Intervention Program (learn more)
To support the Street Outreach Workers' connection with youth by ensuring their safety (through purchase of technology) and helping to meet basic needs.

The Connection, Inc. (website)
To support deep cleaning of residential care programs in the New Haven area, as well as hazard pay for staff.

Continuum of Care, Inc. (website)
To support the purchase of food, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.

Black Infinity Collective (formerly known as CTCORE-Organize Now!) (website)
To provide mutual aid food assistance to households in New Haven.

Davenport Residence (website)
To support the purchase of food for Davenport Dunbar Food Pantry which serves low-income senior.

East Haven Food Pantry at Epiphany Church of Christ (website)
To support the purchase of additional food for the grab and go pantry.

The Food Garage of the Semilla Collective (learn more)
To support the purchase of food for food delivery services for undocumented families.

Guilford Interfaith Ministries, Inc. (website)
To support the purchase of food and packaging to meet the increased demand for food.

Inspired Communities Inc. (learn more)
To support food distribution and assistance to 4 food pantries in Newhallville/Dixwell neighborhoods.

IRIS - Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (website)
To support the purchase of food pantry supplements, gift cards and medicine.

Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (website)
To support financial assistance for basic needs and food.

Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) (website)
To support emergency food and rental assistance for at-risk New Haven families, as well as to cover limited additional costs associated with expanded outreach and case management.

Leeway, Inc. (website)
To support shopping and grocery services for homebound client.

New Haven Area Mutual Aid Fund (learn more)
To support direct financial assistance to families to be used for food, rent or utilities.

New Haven Ecology Project (Common Ground) (website)
To support the distribution of fresh food and staples to families in need, and to support the purchase of packaging, cleaning and storage supplies, as well as hand sanitizer and educational materials shared with partner organizations.

The New Haven Inner City Enrichment (NICE) Center (learn more)
To support the purchase of food for the food pantry, including fresh vegetables and dairy, as well as the purchase of hygiene products for Hill neighborhood residents.

Omega SDA Church (website)

To support homeless individuals temporarily housed in hotels with clothing, hygiene products and cleaning supplies, as well as supporting staff who are providing social services.

Project Access of New Haven (website)
To support the cost of staff so that patient appointments for urgent specialty care can be rescheduled/redirected as needed and they have access to important information about Covid 19 and their individual risk.

'r kids, Family Center Inc. (website)
To support the purchase of technology for staff to provide remote support for foster children, birth families and foster families as well as the purchase of food for families in need.

Restaurant coalition for the homeless*
To support the preparation and delivery of meals to the ~250 homeless individuals who are temporarily housed in hotels.

Ronald McDonald House of CT, Inc. (website)
To support the provision of hot meals and groceries for families with children who are being treated at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Sunrise Café (website)
To support the purchase of food and supplies, and to support staffing and rent in order to supply get to-go meals.

Solar Youth (website)
To support jobs for youth, whose income helps their families, as well as technology to enable virtual programs.

The Towers Foundation (website)
To support meals basic needs supplies for seniors who are sheltering in place.

Unidad Latina Accion (website)
To support the Immigrant Emergency Fund which provides cash assistance to immigrants ineligible for unemployment and stimulus funds.

VNA Community Healthcare (website)
To support the increased demand for emergency supplies for staff and clients.

Walk of Faith Church (website)
To support the purchase of food and personal protection equipment for families in the Fair Haven Heights neighborhood.

Yale New Haven Hospital (website)
To support the purchase of personal protective equipment as well as meals and counseling for staff.

About The Community Foundation
Thanks to the generosity of three generations of donors, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is composed of hundreds of individually named funds and distributes millions of dollars in grants annually to build a stronger Greater New Haven region. The Foundation’s 20-town service area includes: Ansonia, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton, Wallingford, West Haven, Woodbridge. For more information about The Community Foundation, visit, find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

United Way of Greater New Haven
United Way of Greater New Haven fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in greater New Haven. The organization, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020, brings people and organizations together to create solutions to the region's most pressing challenges. We tackle issues that cannot be solved by any one group working alone. Join the movement to Live United at

Correction: * this entry was incorrectly listed as New Haven Strong in the initial release; the official name of the group feeding the homeless population in nearby hotels is yet to be determined.

Media Contacts:

The Community Foundation

United Way of Greater New Haven
Mark Allegrini
Senior Director, Marketing and Engagement
Email | 203.530.5816 (mobile)