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Heinz Endowments announces further $2.3 million in emergency funding to combat COVID-19 crisis

PITTSBURGH, Pa., April 30, 2020 – The Heinz Endowments today announced its second wave of emergency grants of more than $2.3 million to Pittsburgh’s nonprofit organizations to help safeguard the health of frontline workers and address human hardship, especially among the most vulnerable families and individuals.

    This follows grants of $2,343,000 awarded earlier this month as part of a special $5 million emergency fund approved by the Endowments Board in its response to urgent community needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional major grant requests beyond this initial emergency funding will go before a full meeting of the foundation’s Board next week.

    The Endowments’ latest schedule of funding includes three grants totaling $610,000 to help fund the acquisition and distribution of laptops for Pittsburgh-area students who do not have access to computer technology (see news release: ‘Heinz Endowments awards over $600,000 to help provide computers for local students following school closures’)

Also, funding of $250,000 is awarded to Allegheny Health Network to support the operations of mobile testing units of the COVID-19 virus in underserved communities, starting with Hazelwood; and $250,000 goes to assist the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in its struggle to meet a surge in demand.

    “We know the crisis we are in is both unique and devastating, and our community is doing all it can to help protect and save lives and to address severe hardship,” said Grant Oliphant, President of the Endowments. “We are especially concerned about the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on African Americans and minorities, as well as low-income and disadvantaged families and individuals, and this is reflected in our latest slate of emergency funding.”

    The Endowments launched its emergency fund in early April, focusing its grantmaking on four key areas: saving lives and protecting health; meeting essential basic needs; shoring up grantee organizations; and supporting frontline groups and communities. The first phase of grants from the fund was announced on April 8, 2020.

    In this new round of funding, a total of 28 grants are awarded, ranging from the provision and distribution of personal protective equipment and support for medical issues, to addressing the needs of work-from-home students, food distribution, housing assistance and furloughed restaurant workers.

    Pittsburgh’s foundation sector is working in close collaboration to maximize impact in areas of greatest need. “Philanthropy’s responsiveness has historically served as a huge asset to our region, and we will continue to work together, and in partnership with our nonprofit organizations, in our efforts to strengthen that effect,” said Grant Oliphant.

    “Since the outset, it has been clear that the effects of this pandemic would massively outstrip philanthropy’s resources, but we are in this for the long-term, and we have a long way to go yet. While we all welcome a phased return from isolation, we must do so with care and vigilance, and with the health and safety of everyone in our community at the forefront.”

The following grants are awarded in the Endowments’ latest emergency funding:

Adagio Health: $64,000 to provide personal protective equipment for frontline staff and to support the organization’s transition to a telehealth model for women, infants and children.

Allegheny Conference on Community Development: $50,000 to obtain and distribute protective masks in the Pittsburgh region.

Allegheny Health Network: $250,000 to support mobile testing of COVID-19 in underserved communities, starting with Hazelwood.

Clean Water Fund: $54,000 to provide indoor air filters for residents most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection in the Clairton area, which historically suffers from poor air quality.

Community Foundation of Fayette County: $30,000 to support retooling by a manufacturer to mass-produce face masks for distribution to frontline workers in Fayette and nearby counties.

Gateway Medical Society: $30,220 to undertake targeted public education to help save black lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthy Start: $30,000 to coordinate increase in accessible support for women in childbirth in hospitals during the coronavirus crisis.

Allegheny Intermediate Unit: $200,000 to support its acquisition and distribution of remote learning devices for students during extended school closures.

Circles Greater Pittsburgh: $40,000 to coordinate and provide basic needs and essential services for Allegheny County residents.

Circles Greater Pittsburgh: $25,000 to help meet critical needs of low-income families in the Circles communities.

Fayette County Community Action Agency: $30,000 to support a struggling regional agricultural sector and provide food assistance for vulnerable families.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: $250,000 to help meet a surge in demand for assistance from families and individuals.

Neighborhood Allies: $50,000 to provide laptops, digital resources and help-desk support for families and children.

Pittsburgh Board of Public Education: $360,000 to provide Pittsburgh Public Schools students with computer devices in addressing inequities in education and internet access.

Regional Housing Legal Services: $80,000 to increase capacity for providing comprehensive and proactive housing policy responses.

SisTers PGH: $20,000 for operating support for a Mutual Aid program to support LGBTQIA communities in the Pittsburgh region.

Sojourner House: $10,000 to provide food and medical supplies to meet the needs of families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilkinsburg Community Ministry: $28,000 to meet increased needs for assistance due to unemployment and food insecurity.

Zellous Hope Project: $20,000 for emergency support for McKees Rocks and Stowe Township families and displaced workers.

Northside Industrial Development Company: $100,000 to support operations to stabilize Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable businesses severely impacted by COVID-19 crisis.

1Hood Media Academy: $80,000 to provide vital information about the COVID-19 virus and its impacts among black communities in the Pittsburgh region.

Afro-American Music Institute: $35,000 to help provide emergency resources for Africana artists and community leaders who support African immigrant children and families.

Center of Life: $50,000 to support the organization’s efforts in collaboration with the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative, to provide essential needs and providing wellness checks. 

Community Justice Project: $40,000 to support legal and policy work for low-income individuals and families.

Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation: $40,000 to alleviate impact of COVID-19 crisis with emergency assistance for immigrant entrepreneurs and families living in rental housing.

POISE Foundation: $250,000 to support the organization’s Critical Community Needs Fund assisting critical services provided by small and mid-sized Black-Led Organizations.

Restaurant Opportunity Centers: $40,000 to provide emergency financial relief for furloughed restaurant workers in the Pittsburgh region.

Training and Education Fund: $50,000 for essential basic needs and extended emergency childcare for COVID-19 – positive frontline healthcare workers. 

Total: $2,306,220

Note to Editors: For full story of Endowments’ funding for the acquisition and distribution of laptops for Pittsburgh-area students during extended school closures, see today’s release Heinz Endowments awards over $600,000 to help provide computers for local students following school closures.’ 

For information contact: 
John Ellis
The Heinz Endowments
(c) 412 496 0010
(h) 412 749 9320