BUFFALO — The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund awarded nearly $1 million to 47 nonprofit organizations, including several in Niagara County, in the month of May.

Among the grant recipients were Center for Elder Law & Justice, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center, Imagine Community Gardens, KidsPeace and Neighborhood Legal Services.

The community response fund, created in mid March to assist nonprofits addressing immediate needs in the region in the areas of food, housing, healthcare, childcare, mental health, transportation and other emergency services, has awarded a total of $6.6 million to 156 nonprofit organizations.

The May awards were likely the final round of grantmaking to individual organizations. Additional money raised by the fund will support microgrants of $500 to $2,500 for grassroots organizations in the eight counties of Western New York. Going forward, the fund is evolving into a "Build Back Better" initiative to support developing strategies focused on recovery efforts. For more information about that, go to www.WNYResponds.org.

To date the fund has raised approximately $7 million from 60 local foundations and private sector companies, more than 40 community leaders and approximately 1,900 individuals. The fund has been coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.

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