Outer Banks Community Foundation awards $46,788 in COVID-19 grants to three nonprofits

Bread at Beach Food Pantry [Biff Jennings photo]

In its third round of COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants, the Outer Banks Community Foundation has announced $46,788 in emergency funding to local nonprofits, supporting their efforts to address food insecurity, educational needs for students with disabilities, and crisis support for individuals who have lost their jobs.

The Community Foundation awarded $25,000 to fund an innovative, coordinated food-buying program that will provide basic food staples to all food pantries across the Outer Banks. The Beach Food Pantry is the fiscal sponsor of this collaborative grant.

According to Pat Regan, a retired food industry executive and community volunteer who is helping to coordinate the project on behalf of the Beach Food Pantry and the Community Foundation, food pantries across the Outer Banks are seeing a surge in clients. Another challenge, he said, is food supply chain disruption, due to restaurant closures and the subsequent, increased demands on grocery stores. Some food manufacturers, he stated, cannot easily shift production away from products that are sold to restaurants over to products sold in grocery stores, creating shortages.

“These times call for exceptional, creative responses,” said Mr. Regan, “and we feel a coordinated approach to supplying local pantries so they can meet urgent food needs is the most practical, expedient, and economical solution.”

Addressing other community needs, a Rapid Response Grant of $6,788 to the Dare Education Foundation will provide students who have exceptional needs with tablets and other assistive technology. These students in the Exception Children program have challenges with remote learning and with navigating digital devices independently. The adaptive equipment and tablets will help these students—and their families—complete a difficult semester of learning at home with greater success.

Finally, Interfaith Community Outreach was awarded a grant of $15,000 to address a significant increase in clients who need financial assistance due to the COVID crisis. The Rapid Response Grant will be used to help unemployed and underemployed Dare County residents pay rent, utility bills, and other essentials until the local economy recovers.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation has now awarded over $140,000 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants. While the Community Foundation has received some recent donations for these grants, most of the funding is from the Community Foundation’s endowment, which was contributed over generations from various donors as legacy gifts.

“Our ability to fund these COVID grants is a perfect example of the power of a planned gift,” said Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa. “Our community is in crisis, and many of our current donors are not in a position to give at this moment. This is when we rely, more than ever, on the legacy contributions that were donated over the years through bequests and planned gifts. Those legacy gifts, invested as endowments, are providing us with the continuous funding that can sustain our grants program even when other sources of support dry up.”

The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to accept applications for its COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. The fourth Rapid Response Grants deadline is Tuesday, May 12, at 5 p.m., with award decisions being made on Wednesday, May 20.

For more information on how to make a legacy gift to the Community Foundation, call MaryAnn Toboz at 757-754-4486, or send her an email at [email protected]

The Outer Banks Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that connects people who care with causes that matter. Based in a historic flat top cottage in Southern Shores, the Community Foundation manages $20 million across 190 charitable funds for individuals and agencies, awards grants to local nonprofits, administers 55 scholarship programs, and provides tailored services to help donors pursue their charitable interests. Since its inception in 1982, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $10 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.