Essex County Community Foundation to Distribute Additional $1.2 Million in COVID-19 Relief Aid

Over the next four months, Essex County Community Foundation, which serves the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, will distribute $1.2 million to select area nonprofits serving and supporting those most vulnerable to the devastating effects of the pandemic.

This new wave of COVID aid comes from the Baker-Polito Administration’s $10 million Community Foundations Grant Program for COVID-19 Relief. Announced in late November, the program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development through community foundations across the state.

“Like other Massachusetts community foundations, ECCF has developed a deep knowledge of and trusted relationships with the nonprofits in our service area and is therefore in a unique position to deliver state funds locally,” said Foundation President and CEO Beth Francis, who also serves as the co-chair of the new Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership.

ECCF is one of 14 Massachusetts community foundations to apply for, and receive, a portion of the $10 million. It will leverage the money to meet the basic needs of Essex County residents, including housing, utilities, food security, emergency childcare, technology for remote learning and transportation.

Carol Lavoie Schuster, ECCF’s vice president for grants, nonprofit and donor service, credited area nonprofits for being “the boots on the ground since the pandemic began.” She noted, “The nonprofit partners that will deliver this aid have a history of serving low-income, non-English speaking communities where residents have seen deep economic hardship and have had limited or no access to other economic relief.”

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