Back to News

Heinz Endowments increases funding to $11.4 million to combat region’s effects of COVID-19 crisis

PITTSBURGH, Pa., May 12, 2020 – Funding from The Heinz Endowments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has more than doubled to $11.4 million after additional grants for organizations in the Pittsburgh region were unanimously approved by a full meeting of the foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Endowments has already awarded 43 grants to local frontline nonprofits and government agencies from a special $5 million emergency fund created by the foundation in early April. At its recent meeting, the Endowments Board approved supplemental funding of over $6.4 million to help relieve hardship among families and individuals and address health safeguards among residents, local workers and medical staff.

“Even as our community continues to respond to urgent needs arising from this crisis, we also must start shaping what comes next as we move to create a more resilient and inclusive future,” said Grant Oliphant, President of the Endowments. “A crisis like this tests nothing so much as what we truly value, and these grants express a commitment to a community that prizes its creativity, its environment, its potential, and the need shared by all its people for everything from food and shelter to dignity and meaning.”
     The additional $6.4 million funding includes 18 grants, totaling $4.5 million, plus contingency funding of $1.9 million to support arts organizations and artists, together with relief and outreach programs and services in the Hazelwood community.

Among grants approved by the Endowments Board is a $600,000 grant to support childcare and education, through Trying Together, the local nonprofit that undertakes advocacy, and provides community resources, and growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, and $775,000 to Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project to help fund protective policies on public health impacts. 

Other grants focusing on environmental issues include a total of $510,000 to the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies to support work in asthma prevention, and to advance clean and healthy indoor environments through air quality monitoring, and $215,000 to the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds to help fund programs that improve water quality and address related issues with communities in western Pennsylvania.

In addressing food insecurities, an additional grant of $185,000 is awarded to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, together with funding for Grow Pittsburgh ($50,000).

A second grant of $200,000 is awarded to Bridgeway Capital to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, a grant of $400,000 for Locally Grown to support a business accelerator and community center in Wilkinsburg, plus funding of $230,000 to the Hill Community Development Corporation for general operating support, and $175,000 to the Clean Water Fund that is working to improve air and water quality in western Pennsylvania.

The following is a full list of COVID-19 – related supplemental grants that were approved by the Endowments Board:

Carnegie Mellon University: $289,000 to support ‘Visualization for Equity,’ a program that continues the work of the CREATE Lab in building data layers to identify barriers to equity including demographics, economics, housing, opportunity, education, and environment.

Trying Together: $600,000 to provide operating support and to contribute to the Emergency Child Care Fund.

Bridgeway Capital: $200,000 to support small local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Casa San Jose: $250,000 to help fund the Latinx community in community organizing, the support of rapid response programs, youth organizing and a pilot case management program.

Locally Grown: $400,000 to support a business accelerator and community center in Wilkinsburg, focused on serving nonprofits and under-resourced entrepreneurs and residents.

Clean Water Fund: $175,000 to assist its work to improve air and water quality for the western Pennsylvania population.

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies: $390,000 to help fund its work in asthma prevention and to support the asthma summit.

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies: $120,000 to support programs that advance clean and healthy indoor environments through air quality monitoring.

Community Justice Project: $80,000 to support programs designed to reduce lead poisoning among children.

Environmental Integrity Project: $185,000 to fund programs that help improve air quality in western Pennsylvania.

Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds: $215,000 to help fund programs that improve water quality and address related issues with communities in western Pennsylvania.

Operation Better Block: $70,000 to support the Homewood Green initiative.

Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project: $775,000 to inform health protective policies and decision-making concerning public health impacts.

Hill Community Development Corporation: $230,000 for general operating support of programs addressing health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

University of Pittsburgh: $125,000 to evaluate the state of affordable housing and housing market conditions in Allegheny County, and to develop comprehensive data to help organizations address the housing crisis.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: $185,000 to help fund modernization of its management systems and to implement new Link2Feed software.

Grow Pittsburgh: $50,000 for operating support in its mission to address urgent community food needs.



Contingency funding for the arts, plus relief  and outreach programs for Hazelwood community             $1,900,000

                                Total:    $6,439,000

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