HealthSpark Foundation Awards Additional $200,000 for COVID-19 Response and Recovery
HealthSpark Foundation is proud to announce $209,000 in grant awards to relief and recovery efforts for communities impacted by COVID-19. This brings the Foundation’s total support for COVID-related investments to $259,000 since March 2020.
The Montco Anti-Hunger Network will receive a grant of $50,000 for its county-wide work coordinating food donations to area pantries. Your Way Home, the county’s homeless crisis response system, will receive a $45,000 grant to support efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
Both organizations are models of collaborative networks that provide coordination, centralized administration, shared resources, and other benefits to individual nonprofits serving communities throughout the county. These partnerships have been cited by their peers as critical supports for quickly responding to the pandemic and pivoting business operations as community health guidance has shifted over the last few months. “It’s unequivocal. COVID 19 has proven that networks bolster safety net resilience,” stated Paula Schafer, Administrator of the Montco Anti-Hunger Network.
“This grant will support Your Way Home partners, providers, and those with lived experience respond and recover from COVID-19, as well as assist us in continuing to address the racial and systemic inequities that are so deeply rooted in the history of housing policy and practice,” shared Kayleigh Silver, Interim Senior Manager of Your Way Home. “Our work is about a transformation to a just, fair and liberated society for all, and we thank HealthSpark for their partnership and support.”
HealthSpark has granted another $114,000 towards efforts to support an equitable and financially resilient recovery of the safety net system, in the form of general operating grants to nonprofits participating in the Foundation’s Build Back Better effort.
Build Back Better is a community-driven effort to analyze the impact of the pandemic on the safety net system and plan for an equitable and finically sustainable recovery. HealthSpark invited area nonprofits to apply to participate in a task force called the Build Back Better Design Team. Forty-one organizations are joining the effort, including thirty-eight nonprofits which are qualified to receive general operating support grants. The Build Back Better Design Team is envisioning a plan of action to inform HealthSpark’s future grantmaking, research, training, and advocacy strategies. As well, the group’s recommendations will include actions for other partners that support the safety net system, such as local and state government, businesses, civic organizations, faith groups, and others.
These latest grants add to the HealthSpark’s earlier investments in COVID-19 response. In March, HealthSpark was a founding partner and investor in the pooled MontCoPA COVID-19 Response Fund, donating $50,000 to support immediate resident needs. The MontCoPA COVID-19 Response Fund is a partnership effort between local philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, government, and public citizens, which together raised nearly $800,000 towards pandemic relief efforts and has supported 127 nonprofits to date.