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ACF distributes nearly $50K in grants to nonprofits facing financial strain during coronavirus outbreak

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Today, Akron Community Foundation announced $48,000 in grants to assist nonprofits during the coronavirus outbreak. A $10,000 grant from the Food Pantry Capacity Fund at Akron Community Foundation will help the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank directly serve food pantries throughout the area. An additional $38,000 was awarded from the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits, which was created last week to provide flexible resources to nonprofit organizations in Summit and Medina counties that are working on the front lines of educating, engaging and supporting individuals impacted by the coronavirus. This is the first round of grants awarded from this fund, but the community foundation will continue awarding grants on an ongoing basis as needs arise. 

Akron Area YMCA is one of the recipients receiving a $5,000 grant from the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits. The funding will be used to assist with the operation of four local Pandemic Child Care Centers at Riverfront YMCA, Hartz Early Care and Education Center, YMCA Cascade Village Enrichment Center and the YMCA Hope Early Care Education Center, providing care to children of essential workers. Funds will also be used to assist families who may need financial support, as well as provide meals for the children served.  

An additional $5,000 was awarded to Red Oak Behavioral Health to help the organization continue providing mental health and addiction services for both adults and children. Until the recent school closure, Red Oak Behavioral Health provided mental health services at 14 school districts across three counties in Ohio. Red Oak Behavioral Health also offers mental health assessments and counseling, community psychotherapy supportive treatment, psychiatric services, and alcohol and other drugs prevention. Currently, Red Oak Behavioral Health is operating through telehealth services. 

"We're extremely grateful for Akron Community Foundation's support of our community, especially during these uncertain times," said Megan Kleidon, CEO/President at Read Oak Behavioral Health. "Red Oak continues to be open and serve those in need of mental health services, thanks in part to their generosity and commitment." 

A $5,000 grant to ASIA Inc., will provide protective equipment for employees and convert its emergency food pantry into a carryout model to minimize the community spread of COVID-19. Between its offices in Akron and Cleveland, ASIA Inc. annually serves more than 58,000 Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) through a variety of services including youth mentoring, healthcare, legal aid, vocational training and more.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted Akron's immigrant community, as many nonprofits have moved to remote services due to recent "stay-at-home" state government mandates. In addition, worldwide AAPI communities have been hit especially hard with misguided discrimination. 

"These organizations provide an example of the ways nonprofits have been expected to shift their services and resources, typically with less financial support coming in, during this crisis," said John T. Petures Jr., president and CEO of Akron Community Foundation. "The point of our Community Response Fund for Nonprofits is to help them weather this storm so that, ultimately, they can continue to provide services to the community members who have been hit the hardest by this health crisis."

Akron Community Foundation will award grants through its Community Response Fund for Nonprofits on a continual basis to help combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Summit and Medina County. 

For more information about the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits, visit

Below is a complete list of grants awarded:  

  • Akron Area YMCA, to support four local pandemic care centers to provide structured and safe environments for children of essential workforce employees, $5,000 
  • Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, to replenish food inventory and address increased demands as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, $15,000 (includes $10,000 from the Food Pantry Capacity Fund) 
  • Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA), to provide protective equipment for employees and convert its emergency food pantry into a carryout model to minimize the community spread of COVID-19, $5,000 
  • Business Volunteers Unlimited, to provide COVID-19 outreach and support to nonprofit organizations in Summit & Medina Counties, $2,500 
  • Cathy's House, to provide rent assistance for residents impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, $3,000 
  • Friends of WKSU, to provide free, critical news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, $2,500 
  • International Institute of Akron, to support remote education, social services and food delivery to immigrants and refugees, $5,000 
  • Red Oak Behavioral Health, to continue to provide mental health and addictive services for adults and children during this outbreak, $5,000 
  • South Street Ministries, to adapt community-focused programing to distribute food, first aid and emergency supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, $5,000 
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