Essex County Community Foundation Awards $650,000 to Hunger and Healthcare Groups and Creative Gig Workers

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Essex County Community Foundation Wednesday awarded $650,000 to hunger and healthcare nonprofits and creative gig workers.

It was the fourth round of grants from its Essex County COVID-19 Response Fund, established in March to support nonprofits on the frontlines of the pandemic response in Essex County. The total includes $600,000 of funding from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, established by First Lady Lauren Baker and the One8 Foundation.

“As this health crisis continues to affect people in our region in myriad ways, continued support from the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund has enabled ECCF to increase funding to our frontline nonprofit organizations, which are working tirelessly to assist the most vulnerable among us,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis.

To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $1.9 million to 124 nonprofits battling COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout of the virus.

Among local groups receiving assistance are Northeast Arc, serving Essex County; Open Hearth Ministries and Salvation Army, both of Haverhill; Pettengill House; Anna Jaques Hospital of Newburyport; Lawrence General Hospital and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

“For so many across the state—and in Essex County—access to food continues to be a major concern and will continue to be a concern for some time to come,” said Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF’s vice president for grants, nonprofits and donor services. “Food insecurity is high in the best of times, but when a crisis of this magnitude hits, our most vulnerable populations experience a heightened need and rising unemployment rates force even more people to seek assistance.”

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