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Philly foundations launch $6.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for local nonprofits

Friday, March 20, 2020

By Peter Crimmins for WHYY

Philadelphia officials announced on Thursday a $6.5M regional emergency fund for the city and surrounding counties in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The City of Philadelphia has partnered with major philanthropic foundations to launch the PHL COVID-19 Fund to quickly assemble and distribute resources to organizations serving the most at-risk populations during the viral outbreak.

“The pandemic is placing extraordinary stress on our city and region, particularly on already strained community organizations that help our most vulnerable residents, and we must work urgently to provide them with greater financial support,” Mayor Jim Kenney said during a Thursday press conference. “This is an unprecedented time demanding an unparalleled unified response.”

Housed at the Philadelphia Foundation, the fund is intended for nonprofit organizations that primarily serve senior citizens, people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness and those who are economically disadvantaged.

These grants will allow the organizations to continue providing community safety nets such as food pantries and health services, as well as preparedness and protection services, such as hygiene supplies and access to accurate information.

“We’re looking at the nonprofit organization serving those audiences,” said Diane Melley, the Philadelphia Foundation’s director of corporate partnerships. “Maybe delivering meals to the elderly, or providing hygiene products like soap and toilet paper to those who may not be able to afford at this point.”


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