Arkansas Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund distributes $678K

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,294 views 

Two months after the creation of its COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist in pandemic relief, Arkansas Community Foundation (ACF) has awarded $1,000 rapid response mini-grants to 678 organizations in 149 cities and towns in 67 counties.

“These mini-grants support immediate, essential community needs in human services, food, health, housing and education,” ACF President and CEO Heather Larkin said in a statement. “Recipients range from youth basketball leagues distributing food to hungry families to summer reading programs opening early, to the purchase of software that allows child abuse hotline staff to accept calls at home.”

A list of the organizations who have received mini-grants is available at this link, searchable by county and city.

ACF Phase Two Adaptation Grant awards ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 are now being processed and will be awarded by the end of May. These grants — about $2 million more in additional awards — will continue to help organizations who are adapting their organizations to meet the ongoing needs of Arkansans affected by the pandemic and shore up critical systems like healthcare, education and food distribution.

The total amount raised for the COVID-19 Relief Fund has topped $3.4 million, with donations coming from the Community Foundation, other Arkansas foundations, businesses and individuals. Called the Gratitude Report, a list of donors to the fund is available at this link.

“The response of the public to requests for donations has been amazing,” said Larkin. “Just as impressive has been the response of the Community Foundation staff, Board and volunteers who have faithfully reviewed grant applications every day since we started accepting applications. Our finance staff members have processed and mailed grant checks at a record pace.”

The COVID-19 Relief Fund was created March 18. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the Community Foundation’s fund as a way for Arkansans to best help those in need during the pandemic. In addition, the Arkansas Republican and Democratic Parties jointly requested donations to the fund.

Donations are still being accepted online at this link or by mailing a check to Arkansas Community Foundation, 5 Allied Drive, Suite 51110, Little Rock, AR 72202. All donations to the fund will be granted to Arkansas organizations working to serve the state’s most vulnerable populations and those disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and its economic fallout.

ACF operates in 75 counties and has 28 local offices.