Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund, established in mid-March by United Way of Bucks County with support from Penn Community Bank, announced its first community grants.
Bucks County Opportunity Council, Bucks County Housing Group, Penndel Mental Health Center, and Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need have each been awarded $5,000 to help people in Bucks County experiencing a crisis due to COVID-19.
“Like any other nonprofit, we are struggling to keep our services intact during this pandemic. Grant funds go a long way in helping us carry out our mission,” said Hema Gandhi, chief financial officer at Penndel Mental Health Center.
Penndel Mental Health Center provides help to vulnerable populations, including those with severe and persistent mental illness and those who are literally homeless. The agency is using the funds for essential items, like urgently needed personal protective gear for staff and nonperishable food for clients.
Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need is using their grant to help with pressing needs like food and emergency shelter. They note that the demand for emergency shelter is increasing and their limited resources are not able to keep up with the need.
Bucks County Opportunity Council, Bucks County’s lead anti-poverty organization, is using the funds for emergency food, shelter and transportation. They will be able to leverage additional funds to ensure that this private grant will help as many people as possible.
Bucks County Housing Group is using funds to support their high-volume food pantries. As a result of COVID-19, they have made significant changes to the way they operate. This funding is essential to provide food and sanitary supplies to thousands of high-risk households in Bucks County.
United Way of Bucks County member agencies will continue to submit grant applications on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed quickly by a panel of business and nonprofit leaders. Payments are released immediately to ensure that people who experience a financial crisis due to COVID-19 get help quickly.
Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund is supported by United Way of Bucks County, Penn Community Bank, PECO, Dow, Foundations Community Partnership, Bucks County Foundation, and many individual donors in Bucks County.
Additional funds are badly needed. Donations can be made at uwbucks.org/COVIDrecovery or by mailing a check to United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030 with “COVID recovery” in the subject line.