Twelve nonprofits assisting Cattaraugus County residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have received a total of $27,000 in grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Cattaraugus County to help them provide for the basic needs of the county’s most vulnerable populations.
Funding from the first round of grants from the fund, established and led by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation and United Way in Cattaraugus County, support immediate needs such as food security, housing assistance, services for the elderly and child care services for essential workers.
YMCA of the Twin Tiers received $3,400 for its emergency child care program, which provides child care services for essential workers in health care and emergency services.
Olean Food Pantry received $3,200 to allow the pantry to purchase additional food supplies. The pantry has seen its supplies depleted as the demand for help among its clients has increased dramatically over the last month.
Cattaraugus County Department of Aging received $3,000 to support the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging’s Meals on Wheels program, which has seen a significant increase in requests from county seniors. The program now is also providing seniors with essential groceries, cleaning supplies and activities supporting mental wellness in addition to its usual meal delivery services.
Catholic Charities of Buffalo received $2,200 to help provide for Cattaraugus County clients’ essential needs such as food, transportation costs and hygiene products.
Cattaraugus Community Action received $2,200 to provide Trac phones and minutes to support virtual case management with clients, many of whom are in difficult situations of abuse and domestic violence and may lack internet access so that they can continue receiving case management and counseling services.
Genesis House of Olean received $2,200 to help provide food, hygiene items and baby items such as diapers and formula to clients and community members in need.
The Master’s Plan received $2,200 to help the organization provide food and essential items, including Personal Protective Equipment, to families in need in the northern part of Cattaraugus County.
Saving Grace Outreach received $2,100 to help the agency provide emergency food supplies in the Cattaraugus/Little Valley-area of the county.
Salvation Army received $1,900 to help provide additional food supplies and rent and utility assistance as they are seeing an increase demand from area individuals in need.
St. Bonaventure University’s Warming House, which is currently the area’s only open soup kitchen, received $1,600 to help continue its food service programming and also to help provide sanitizers.
Olean First Baptist Church received $1,600 for its We Are His Hands program, which provides food vouchers for area grocery stores to Olean residents as part of an outreach program, which has expanded to growing needs of program beneficiaries.
St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store received $1,400 to support the purchase of food for the agency’s food pantry and emergency funds to support clients with rent and utility payments.
Individuals in need of assistance should contact the agency closest to them and most fit to provide the help needed.
Despite successful fundraising efforts led by CRCF, the Renodin Foundation and United Way, requests for funding far exceeded the amount of funds available.
“When this all began I do not think anyone knew just how deep the economic impact would be,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “One thing is certain now, though, and that is that the outbreak of the virus has dramatically impacted county residents and the organizations that serve them. The need is significant, and it is growing every day.
“We sincerely hope that anyone that has the resources can help support the fund’s efforts, so we can have a second, meaningful round of grantmaking. A donation may make the difference between a family having food on the table or being able to pay a utility bill when the moratorium on service shut offs come to an end.”
A second round of grant funding will be announced in the coming weeks once the fund is replenished with additional contributions.
Donations can be made to the fund online at cattfoundation.org or mailed to the CRCF office at 301 N. Union St., Suite 203, Olean, NY, 14760. Checks should be made payable to CRCF/COVID-19 Fund. More information can be found at cattfoundation.org/covid-19-response-fund.
The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation is the area’s supportive, responsive and trusted community foundation. Established in 1994, CRCF is growing good by connecting donors to the causes they care about most in the region. Grants from the foundation support many areas, including education, scholarships, health care, the arts, community development, human service, and youth development. To learn more, call (716) 301-CRCF (2723), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit online at www.cattfoundation.org. CRCF is also on Facebook (facebook.com/cattfoundation) and Twitter (@CattFoundation).