The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is looking at longer-term needs for funding now, almost seven months after the start of the pandemic.

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In March, the United Way of Broome County, the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation, the Community Foundation for South Central New York, the doctor C. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Foundation, the Stewart and Wilma Hoyt Foundation, the George and Margaret Mee Charitable Foundation and Robert Kresge Foundation joined forces to launch the COVID-19 Community Response Fund Alliance.

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The effort at first concentrated on urgent needs of community organizations as they struggled to keep operating during the pandemic shutdown. 

Recently, the Fund decided to shift funding to longer-term initiatives through a series of microgrants. Administrators have identified one of the areas of most immediate need is childcare as people start to get back to work and school 

The fund has now approved 14 microgrants of $500 to support local non-profit childcare centers.  The money is being used in dealing with the coronavirus like adding personal protective equipment and buying cleaning supplies. 

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund Alliance is also providing a $550 microgrant to the Broome County Council of Churches’ Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) program to address food insecurity in the region. 

The fund has collected and distributed more than $387,500 to 55 nonprofit agencies in the community. 

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