BTCF awards eight grants from Emergency Response Fund

SHEFFIELD, MA – Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announced the award of eight grants from the Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the foundation’s ongoing effort to raise and distribute resources for nonprofit organizations serving residents feeling the greatest impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The organizations receiving grants are located across Columbia County and work to support children and low-income or newly-vulnerable families, seniors and immigrants, among others, through services such as food pantries, health care and conflict resolution. BTCF staff and local residents, including volunteer members of BTCF’s Fund for Columbia County committee, are reviewing and awarding grants on a rolling basis during the crisis as funding permits. Award amounts vary based on organizational capacity, scope of services, community needs and total resources available. The fund has distributed a total of nearly $60,000 over the past week.

“With need increasing every day, we are striving to target our funding to organizations whose community-based work prioritizes equity and serves those who too often fall through the cracks,” said Berkshire Taconic President Peter Taylor in a press release. “We continue to be humbled by the generosity of donors to the fund as we seek ways to help people in need together. We are proud to do our part alongside others in this critical work.”

The grantee list follows:

*Camphill Ghent, $5,000 to purchase nonperishable food for an onsite food pantry for its 70-plus elderly residents and staff

*Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, $15,000 to provide financial support for immigrant communities to meet basic needs, including medicine, housing and food, as well as delivery of supplies

*Common Ground Dispute Resolution, $1,080 to purchase Zoom accounts for remote counseling and mediation to families in crisis as a result of sheltering in place, loss of jobs and possible evictions

*The Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties, $10,000 to seed a rent fund and purchase food and grocery gift cards for low-income individuals and families affected by mental illness

*Roe Jan Food Pantry, $3,000 to supply food and toiletries to the growing numbers of clients who have lost jobs and are not yet receiving government assistance

*The Salvation Army of Hudson, $5,000 to provide boxed lunches and delivered meals, as well as diapers and baby formula, to families and seniors

*Time and Space Limited, $5,000 to provide affordable prepared dinners three times a week while its arts programming is halted

*Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, $15,000 to continue providing no-cost or sliding scale health care to its predominantly young, low-income and Medicaid-insured patients through telemedicine and safely delivered in-person services.

Generous individual donors, corporations and foundations have contributed nearly $300,000 to the fund. The foundation encourages those who can to make a donation at BerkshireTaconic.org/ColumbiaCOVID19. One hundred percent of gifts go directly to nonprofits.

Berkshire Taconic and Columbia Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Hudson Business Coalition, have also established the Columbia County Business Continuity Fund. The fund will award cash grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to cover costs related to retaining employees, rent and other fixed operational costs.

Donations to the fund can be made at BerkshireTaconic.org/BusinessContinuity and applications will be accepted until April 15 at www.columbiaedc.com.

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