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United Way of Greater Portland awards $259,073 in the second round of grants from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund  

United Way of Greater Portland announced it has awarded $259,073 in the second round of grants from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to 25 local nonprofits, schools, and faith-based groups on the frontlines working with individuals and families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of this outbreak. 

“The outpouring of support is a testament to the caring spirit that exists in our community,” said Liz Cotter Schlax, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Portland. “We are pleased to be able to quickly award grants to organizations addressing urgent needs across Cumberland County, which continue to mobilize food and supplies and provide access to safe and reliable shelter to individuals and families who desperately need it.” 

The emergency fund has grown to more than $650,000 thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors, leadership donors, and individual contributors. United Way awarded $229,239 in the initial round of grants  on April 9, 2020, to 31 organizations addressing critical needs across Cumberland County. 

The organizations that received this second round of grants are listed below. 

  • Amistad 
  • Crosswalk Community Outreach 
  • Cultivating Community 
  • Falmouth Food Pantry, Inc 
  • Foundation for Portland Public Schools 
  • Full Plates Full Potential 
  • Gray Community Food Pantry 
  • Greater Portland Family Promise 
  • Hand in Hand / Mano en Mano 
  • Harrison Food Bank 
  • Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project 
  • Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine 
  • Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN) 
  • New England Arab American Organization 
  • Preble Street 
  • Presente! Maine 
  • Project GRACE (in collaboration with Scarborough Police Department & Scarborough General Assistance) 
  • Shalom House, Inc. 
  • South Portland Food Cupboard 
  • Spurwink 
  • St. Vincent Soup Kitchen Portland Maine 
  • The Opportunity Alliance 
  • Through These Doors 
  • Volunteers of America Northern New England  
  • Woodfords Family Services 

“Amistad’s staff and board members stand humbled and appreciative to be included as a United Way of Greater Portland partner during this life-altering pandemic,” said Brian Townsend, Executive Director, Amistad. “We will utilize Covid-19 Round 2 funding for emergency housing solutions. Expense items will include application fees, initial rents, deposits, ID & document acquisition fees, and initial transportation. Cleaning supplies, sheets, and initial food might also be needed. Housing conditions are so dire that we are now considering the purchase of tents, camping, and weather/rain gear.”

The COVID-19 Community Relief Fund Grants Committee included Jennifer Beck, the John T. Gorman Foundation;  MufaloChitam, Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition; Anne Dalton, The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.; Tony DiSotto, KeyBank; Ashley Duca, Texas Instruments; James Elkins, Career Planning Services; Jim Gailey, Cumberland County; Chris Hall, Greater Portland Council of Governments; Quincy Hentzel, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce; James Hettenbach, Unum; Colin March, TD Bank; Jane Parker, Bank of America; Jennifer Roe, A Company of Girls; Claude Rwaganje, ProsperityME; and John Shoos, Sam L. Cohen Foundation.  

“This is a difficult time for all of us as we continue to fight this pandemic As a result, we are seeing a significant need in our community and don’t expect that to go away anytime soon,” said Claude RwaganjeProsperityME. “We’re committed to getting this funding to where it is needed the most.”   

United Way of Greater Portland launched this fund on March 20 to support a range of nonprofit organizations assisting members of the community, particularly those most vulnerable. 100% of donations go directly into the community thanks to underwriting support provided by AAA of Northern New England, Bank of America, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, The John T. Gorman Foundation, Sam L. Cohen Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, Texas Instruments Foundation, and Unum.  

Additional grants will be awarded on a rolling basis to address emerging needs as they come to light.  

For more information about the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund or to donate, visit www.unitedwaygp.org/covid.