From staff reports
Community Foundation of the Lowcountry has distributed an additional $90,050 in grants to nonprofit organizations, located in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Counties, which are providing food, supplies and supplementing housing-related payments for individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the second round of grants awarded from their Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund, which was established in mid-March to rapidly deploy funding to frontline area nonprofits that are addressing the critical and immediate needs of those experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic. In the first round of grants, 11 nonprofits received grants totaling $198,050.
The community has donated more than $200,000 to the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund, according to Chris Kerrigan, president and CEO of Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.
“The community’s response to this crisis has been overwhelming,” Kerrigan said in a release. “In less than a month, our generous neighbors have contributed more than $200,000 to this fund. The Community Foundation added an additional $150,000 in the first several weeks as part of a match challenge. However, because we understand the severity of the situation and because we take a leadership role in philanthropy in our region – especially during disasters – our board of directors has authorized an additional $50,000 be added into the fund. This brings the total raised to over $400,000.”
The grants advisory committee, comprised of community leaders from Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties, met earlier this week to review the second round of grant applications. The following organizations have received grants:
Bluffton Community Soup Kitchen: to purchase food and necessities for the Hot Stuff Food Program that provides meals for low-income, at-risk community members in Bluffton and Yemassee.
Hampton United Methodist Church: to purchase food and supplies to expand the Hampton School District One Backpack Buddy Program to 300 participants, adding additional family members and additional meals for families which are food-insecure.
Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity: to fund insurance and tax escrow payments, for up to two months, for approximately 30 percent of Habitat for Humanity homeowners who have lost employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lowcountry Strong Foundation: to fund meals for unemployed or underemployed hospitality workers in Beaufort County. The program keeps restaurants open while providing meals to workers who face insecurities caused by the impact of COVID-19 on the local hospitality industry.
Margaret F. Curtis Food Pantry: to increase capacity due to the tremendous increase in need because of school closings and stay home orders. This food bank is a resource to low income residents in Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.
New Destiny Center: to provide hot meals to low income, at-risk Jasper County seniors who are confined to their homes due to COVID-19.
Kerrigan stresses that the fund is still accepting donations. If you’d like to make a tax-exempt donation to the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund, you can do so by visiting the Community Foundation’s home page at www.cf-lowcountry.org or by going to the fund’s donation landing page at https://cflowcountry.civicore.com/covid.