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August 10, 2020
 
Comm. Foundation of Western Massachusetts Grants $725K
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

July 23, 2020 — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, based in Springfield, yesterday announced it granted $725,000 in COVID-19 related relief funding to 26 local nonprofits, targeting employment assistance, food insecurity, homelessness and foreclosure prevention, and addressing immediate needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, said, “The pandemic is adversely impacting individuals, families, and communities in the region. This round of grants includes funds to address the economic instability that many are facing.”

Receiving the foundation's latest round of funding were the following:

  • Amherst Community Connections
  • Amherst Survival Center
  • Brick House Community Resource Center
  • Center for New Americans
  • Chicopee Boys & Girls Club
  • Community Upliftment Program
  • Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts
  • Franklin and North Quabbin Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Franklin County Community Meals Program
  • LifePath
  • Mary Lyon Education Foundation
  • Mental Health Association
  • Montague Catholic Social Ministries
  • Pioneer Valley Project
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center
  • Project New Hope
  • Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts
  • Rivera and Rivera Acts Against Foreclosure
  • Safe Passage
  • Springfield Partners for Community Action
  • St. Mary’s Parish
  • Sunshine Village
  • United Service Organization of Pioneer Valley
  • Valley Opportunity Council
  • The Westfield State Foundation
  • Wheelhouse Farm

Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts, located in Springfield, is using the funds to address the barrier of the digital divide during the pandemic. Executive Director Margaret Tantillo said that it took its programs online when the state locked down in the spring, but realized the digital divide was a barrier to women accessing online trainings and work opportunities.

“Funding from the Community Foundation has allowed us to maintain our staffing levels so we can address both of these issues," she said. "We are able to continue to deliver our quality programs and add a new program around digital literacy. The women in our community are going play an essential role in the economic recovery, and we are providing the essential tools to help women maintain their employment and/or reenter the workforce when businesses start reopening.”

To date, the foundation has awarded $5.5 million to nonprofits in western Massachusetts that are on the front lines of serving vulnerable populations affected by the crisis, with $4.3 million contributed by the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund.

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