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Saturday, May 09, 2020

MAYOR WALSH AND STEERING COMMITTEE ANNOUNCE BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND SURPASSES $30 MILLION, WITH OVER HALF DISTRIBUTED TO NON-PROFITS


MAYOR WALSH AND STEERING COMMITTEE ANNOUNCE BOSTON RESILIENCY FUND SURPASSES $30 MILLION, WITH OVER HALF DISTRIBUTED TO NON-PROFITS

BOSTON - Saturday, May 9, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund Steering Committee announced that the Boston Resiliency Fund has raised $30.7 million from 5,755 donors since launching in March. With 62 percent of donations under $100, the fund has been fueled by not only major corporations and philanthropic partners, but small dollar donations by thousands of individual Bostonians. In total, the fund has distributed $16.2 million in funding to 178 organizations, and is actively reviewing applications for the continued funding announcements. 

"Reaching this milestone is an extraordinary testament to the generosity of Boston's people and organizations, and to the hard work of public employees in City Hall and dedicated partners around the City," said Mayor Walsh. "With the guidance of the COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force, we've supported diverse, grassroots organizations that are trusted in the community, employ local people and provide direct services to residents. Resiliency is only possible if equity is at the forefront."
Each application for funding is reviewed by the Boston Resiliency Fund Review Committee. The Review Committee is composed of more than 25 representatives from a diverse cross-section of City department staff and applications are reviewed with a lens towards equity and with learnings from the COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force. To date, 40 percent of grantees are led by a person of color, 63 percent are led by women, and together the Fund is serving every neighborhood in Boston.  

The $16.2 million in funding distributed to date has helped support over 130,000 Boston families, and includes: 
  • $8.3 million to provide Boston's children, families, and seniors with access to food and other basic needs.  
    • 215,000 meals and 40,000 bags of groceries created for families, seniors and adults. 
    • Distributed 478,000 more pounds of food through the Greater Boston Food Bank.
    • One month long supply of diapers and formula for 250 families. 
    • 46,000 hygiene products for families in need. 
    • Funding for 4,000 families to grocery shop in their neighborhoods. 
    • Support for 20+ small, minority-owned restaurants serve culturally conscious meals. 
    • Hiring 20 formerly unemployed residents to help with food distribution and coordinating 2,200 volunteer hours for 250+ individuals at Boston meal sites. 
    • 3 additional Project BREAD hotline counselors to respond to approximately 1,800 calls from Boston residents about food insecurity. 
  • $5.9 million to expand the capacity of healthcare systems to serve the vulnerable and those who have complex needs, and provide support for healthcare and front-line workers. 
    • Expanded neighborhood-based testing at 15 community health centers.
    • 4 safe community spaces for unhoused individuals to access restrooms and basic hygiene and 2 outdoor comfort stations staffed by street outreach staff. 
    • Emergency funding for 26 residential recovery programs and 20 family shelter agencies.  
    • 15 quarantine beds for individuals in recovery. 
    • Temporary emergency housing options for 15 domestic violence survivors. 
    • 1 additional SafeLink advocate at the statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline. 
    • 960 emergency childcare seats in the City of Boston for essential workers. 
    • Daily wellness check-ins withBoston EMS through a chatbot developed in partnership with MIT and New Urban Mechanics. 
  • $2 million for remote learning technology for Boston's children.
    • 8,000 additional chromebooks to support remote learning for Boston's K-12 students. 
The Fund is continuing to accept donations at all levels from individuals, organizations and philanthropic partners. All of the donations will be awarded to local organizations, with the majority of future grants to be made through the end of May. 

Organizations interested in receiving funding are encouraged to complete a statement of interest to be considered for future grants. 

As the City of Boston's response to and recovery from COVID-19 continues, the City and the Steering Committee will work closely with non-profit partners and service providers to understand how the focus areas of the Fund should evolve to address the most pressing needs of Boston's vulnerable populations. 

The Steering Committee was established after the Fund's formation to provide direct oversight and funding recommendations based on statement of interests received and applications reviewed by the Review Committee. The three-member committee includes Jack Connors, Jr., Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO of Mass General Brigham, and Jeffrey Leiden, MD, PhD, Executive Chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Goodwin Law serves as pro bono legal counsel to the Fund. 

"The outpouring of support to help meet the basic needs of the city's most vulnerable residents during this crisis has gone far beyond what we envisioned when we launched the Resiliency Fund in March," said Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Chairman at Vertex. "The fund has been able to make an immediate impact in ensuring access to food for Boston's children, families and seniors, expanding our health care capacity, and helping students learn remotely while at home. I am so thankful to the thousands of people who have donated what they could to reach this milestone, and to the business and philanthropic leaders who sprang into action as well - especially my partners in this effort Jack Connors and Anne Klibanski."

The Fund has received donations of $1 million or above from Berkshire Partners, Michelle and Bob Atchinson, Bain Capital, Bank of America, Paul and Sandy Edgerly, John & Cyndy Fish / Suffolk, Gross Family Foundation, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Partners HealthCare, and the Vertex Foundation. 

The Boston Resiliency Fund exists within the Boston Charitable Trust, an existing 501(c)(3) designated trust fund managed by the City of Boston's Treasury Department. For more information on how to make a donation, please visit: boston.gov/resiliency-fund. For general inquiries, please email brf@boston.gov.

"Eastie Farm is delighted to be part of an innovative solution that helps ensure food security in East Boston and Chinatown, while supporting our partners Bon Me Restaurant and Tawakal Halal Cafe in sustaining themselves through this economic crisis," said Kannan Thiruvengadam, director of Eastie Farm. "We thank Bon Me and Tawakal for providing much needed culturally sensitive meals at cost and with utmost attention to the health and safety of all involved, and we thank Mayor Walsh for this generous support for Eastie Farm's work in resiliency, and for his tireless and diligent leadership during this challenging time."

"CommonWealth Kitchen's CommonTable initiative mobilizes our diverse community of restaurants and other food businesses to feed families in need," said Jen Faigel, Executive Director of Commonwealth Kitchen. "It puts money back into our hardest-hit communities, employing neighbors to feed their neighborhoods. We're thrilled to have the support from Mayor Walsh and the Boston Resiliency Fund to help us jumpstart this effort."

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