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Supporting Local Area Direct Services Organizations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

David and Lucile Packard believed deeply in supporting the communities where they lived and worked. After 55 years, the Foundation continues to fund organizations across five counties in the Bay Area and beyond—San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey. Grantee partners are working to ensure that all families have the resources and support they need to be strong, that all young people have the opportunity to thrive, and that all communities offer spaces for people to enjoy enriching artistic and cultural experiences. 

As decisionmakers have called for the entire local area to shelter-in-place due to the threats of COVID-19, the Foundation has remained in close touch with the local organizations we support. Front-line direct services organizations have been facing shortages of volunteers, a decrease in donated materials, more staff heading home to care for families, increased costs for sanitation processes and equipment, and higher demand for services. As businesses have closed their doors, many people, including those already facing financial, food, and housing insecurity, have turned more and more to these local organizations for support. With more demand from the community and higher costs to operate safely, it has become clear that these organizations need additional support. 

For these reasons, the Foundation has provided emergency funding to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including more than $1.4 million in grants to 19 local area organizations. Of these, 14 are providing food assistance, shelter, and other essential multi-services, and five are area relief funds managed by community foundations that provide integral funding to local organizations as urgent needs arise: 

  • California Association of Food Banks ($25,000) Implementing key policy and advocacy work focused on food security for families with low incomes throughout California, and running a Farm to Family program that delivers food to food banks across the state. 
  • Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County ($100,000) Helping to coordinate food delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic to families and seniors in partnership with other organizations, while also providing case management for families, all through increased COVID-19-related costs. 
  • Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County ($60,000) Helping address emergency needs in Santa Cruz County, including no- or low-barrier rental assistance, cleaning and supply kits for essential workers, enhanced food distribution, and other COVID-19-related costs. 
  • Community Food Bank of San Benito County  ($20,000) Providing food for significantly higher number of residents in San Benito County, where 20 percent of the population had relied on the food bank prior to the impact of COVID-19. 
  • Community Foundation for Monterey County ($100,000) Supporting nonprofit organizations serving individuals and families, seniors, youth, and groups providing basic services, especially given the large population in the county of agricultural and hospitality workers who are facing COVID-19-related lost wages. 
  • Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County ($75,000) Rapidly deploying resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Santa Cruz County.  
  • Community Homeless Solutions ($100,000) Providing housing and shelter services for Monterey and San Benito counties, including a domestic violence shelter and medical respite center, to help address COVID-19-related challenges amid reduced staff and increased demand. 
  • East Bay Community Foundation ($50,000) Providing one-time general support through a Just East Bay Fund to organizations offering services critical to economic security in the East Bay, as residents face a loss of income, increased childcare costs, and food insecurity.  
  • Food Bank for Monterey County ($100,000) Serving Monterey County with food and other services, where large portions of the community face financial and food insecurity, and families employed by agricultural and hospitality industries face lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • HomeFirst Services of Santa Clara County ($100,000) Opening additional shelters and converting overnight shelters into 24- hour facilities given increased demand, all of which requires additional staffing and operational costs like cleaning and sanitation due to COVID-19. 
  • Housing Matters ($75,000) Providing additional secure shelter services for Santa Cruz County, while facing additional costs as a result of COVID-19. 
  • Housing Resource Center of Monterey County ($25,000) Providing housing assistance to Monterey County residents, with current clients facing additional difficulties in paying rent and new clients seeking assistance given lost wages and other COVID-19-related costs. 
  • LifeMoves ($100,000) Providing temporary shelter and housing in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties through more than 20 operational sites, with additional COVID-19-related costs for staffing, new equipment and protective gear, and meals normally provided by volunteers. 
  • Planned Parenthood Mar Monte ($25,000) Serving all local counties and beyond with reproductive health and primary care services, while anticipating increases in client needs due to COVID-19. 
  • Sacred Heart Community Service ($75,000) Providing emergency assistance to residents and operating Santa Clara County’s Homelessness Prevention System, all while facing increased COVID-19-related costs for staff and supplies. 
  • Samaritan House ($100,000) Providing services in San Mateo County, including operating a homeless shelter and health clinics, while facing increased COVID-19-related costs around food distribution, moving populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19 to motels, and technology needs.  
  • Second Harvest Santa Cruz County ($75,000) Providing food to Santa Cruz County, where anticipated demand is estimated at more than double the regular amount (2 million additional pounds of food) by June 30 due to COVID-19-related costs. 
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation ($250,000) Supporting core service agencies focused on basic and emergency needs in San Mateo County ($100,000) and Santa Clara County ($150,000). 
  • Silicon Valley Strong (via Destination: Home) ($100,000) Providing families and individuals with financial assistance for rent and other urgent needs given income loss related to the impact of COVID-19. 

In addressing the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on our local area, the Foundation has initially been focused on supporting the immediate needs of frontline safety-net organizations that are providing food, housing, rent, and other emergency assistance to the local area. We also are assessing how to support longer-term recovery efforts for a broader scope of organizations. 

The Foundation will continue to stay in close touch with these and other grantee partners, as the Bay Area and beyond seeks to navigate new and complex challenges to our communities. Please reach out to Local Grantmaking Program Officer Ellen Clear ([email protected]) or Program Director Irene Wong ([email protected]) with any questions.