COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund makes $50,000 grant to Northeast Iowa Food Bank
March 24, 2020
The Black Hawk County COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, has made its first grant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $50,000 grant to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank will be used to match gifts to support the organization’s work in Black Hawk County as it serves even more people. All donations to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $50,000 grant amount in an effort to meet the current and future extraordinary needs of the organization as they arise due to impacts of COVID-19.
“The Northeast Iowa Food Bank is facing new challenges due to the current and long-term economic impact this crisis is having on low wage-earning working families who may be facing layoffs because of the Coronavirus,” said Barb Prather, executive director of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. “This grant is an incredible boost as we continue to raise funds so we can meet the increasing needs of the food insecure in Black Hawk County.”
The reality in northeast Iowa today, is that on top of the estimated 43,000 individuals who were already experiencing hunger - long before this crisis developed into what we now know it to be today - thousands more economically burdened and immunocompromised seniors, children and families stand to be affected as a direct result of COVID-19. With 75% of the Food Bank’s food supply being donated grocery items, they anticipate a significant cost increase to continue operating. In addition, as social-distancing remains a key priority to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19, the Food Bank has also seen a significant decrease in the volunteerism that is the backbone of their operation. The result of these circumstances means that their programs, services and network of agency partners will continue to operate with more expenses to incur, more people to feed and less help to do so.
“We know the Northeast Iowa Food Bank serves a critical immediate and long-term role in serving people most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO. “CFNEIA and our funding partners are happy to be able to quickly respond to the needs of the Food Bank and keep them moving forward providing essential services.”
The Black Hawk COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund was established by CFNEIA, the Otto Schoitz Foundation, Cedar Valley United Way and the Guernsey Foundation with $50,000 contributions from each organization, and is a fund of CFNEIA. Grants from the disaster response fund will be administered in collaboration with organizations coordinating pandemic response efforts, including Black Hawk County COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster). Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the COVID-19 disaster, making it possible to move resources quickly and to adapt to evolving needs in subsequent phases of the crisis recovery efforts.
To make a gift to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit www.northeastiowafoodbank.org. Gifts can also be mailed to: Northeast Iowa Food Bank, 1605 Lafayette St., Waterloo, IA 50703. Checks should be made out to Northeast Iowa Food Bank COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund.
Gifts can also be made to the Black Hawk County COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund to provide more grant opportunities for nonprofits serving Black Hawk County. Donations will be used to quickly move resources to where they are most needed and to adapt to evolving needs. Gifts can be made to the fund by going to www.cfneia.org/bhcovidfund and clicking on the Give Today button. Gifts can also be directed to the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, 3117 Greenhill Circle, Cedar Falls, IA 50613. Checks should be made out to Black Hawk County COVID-19 Cooperative Disaster Response Fund. Online gifts are strongly encouraged to have funds accessible for quick response to needs.