COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 RESPONSE

As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens lives and livelihoods, it is exposing the fragility of many families, the vulnerabilities in our systems and our country’s stark inequities. But in this unprecedented moment, we have joined forces at the local level through philanthropy and trusted partnerships. 

Working across our four counties, we have mobilized more than $4 million to support nonprofits that are providing emergency food, health and mental health care, housing and homeless services, and other basic needs. 

Drawing on the deep local knowledge of our professional and volunteer leadership, we have moved quickly to direct funds where they are needed most and multiplied the impact of so many generous donors, achieving more together than any single donor could alone.

We have also partnered with community foundations across the region to deliver tailored support and assistance to nonprofits who are helping our communities during the pandemic. Based on the needs identified by nearly 1,500 nonprofit professionals across our four-county region, we are offering a series of technical assistance and capacity-building webinars for nonprofit staff and board leaders.

 

Berkshire County

Northeast Dutchess County

Columbia County

Northwest Litchfield County

 

View the impact of nonprofit grantees in our four counties
 

 


 

Berkshire County
 

As part of a broader response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Berkshire United Way—in partnership with Northern Berkshire United Way and the Williamstown Community Chest— launched the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County on March 17 to provide flexible resources to nonprofit organizations serving Berkshire County residents feeling the greatest impact of the pandemic.

The fund has provided flexible resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak. Grants have helped frontline human services organizations with deep roots in the community and strong experience working with vulnerable populations.

View a report on the outcomes and impacts of the fund.

Throughout the county, nonprofits have stepped up to assist residents with food, shelter, health and mental health services, and other critical support. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, along with the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, have awarded 186 grants totaling nearly $3.02 million to 99 organizations responding to these basic needs.

View a list of grantees.

According to grantee reporting received to date, an estimated 69,079* individuals representing vulnerable sub-populations in Berkshire County that are particularly distressed due to the pandemic have benefited directly from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County. Almost half of the grants have gone toward helping low-income families, and the rest to organizations that work to support children, communities of color and immigrants, seniors, and people with mental illness and substance use disorders, among other vulnerable sub-populations who are particularly distressed due to the pandemic.

*Sub-populations are not mutually exclusive

Funding Partners: We are grateful to each of the 400-plus individual, corporate and foundation donors who have contributed to the fund, including more than $500,000 from BTCF donor advised funds and the Barr Foundation, which contributed $250,000. View a list of the fund's generous partners

Contributions to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund continue to be accepted and will be invested in the community to help build stability for vulnerable residents and the vital nonprofit sector that serves them every day.

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Columbia County
 

Berkshire Taconic launched the Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund on March 30 to provide flexible resources to nonprofit organizations serving residents feeling the greatest impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the spring and early summer, the fund awarded $332,987 to 28 nonprofits, a total of 37 grants. The organizations receiving grants are located across Columbia County and work to support children and low-income or newly vulnerable families, seniors and immigrants, among others, through services such as food pantries, health care and conflict resolution.

In partnership with Columbia Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Hudson Business Coalition, BTCF also established the Columbia County Business Continuity Fund. It provided one-time cash grants to small businesses in Hudson and town centers with fewer than 10 full-time employees and less than $1 million in annual revenue. A total of $202,750 was awarded to 92 small businesses through this fund. Lael Locke, a longtime resident of Chatham, generously donated $15,000 to the Business Continuity Fund to support a grant cycle benefitting small businesses in the village of Chatham.

Abode Farm: $5,500 to increase the number of subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares for low-income children, families and seniors in New Lebanon, in partnership with schools and nonprofits

Camphill Ghent: $5,000 to purchase non-perishable food for an onsite pantry for its 70+ elderly residents and staff

Coarc, the Columbia County Chapter of the Arc New York: $15,000 for food and nutritional supplements for the 400 individuals with disabilities and their families the organization serves countywide

Columbia Children’s Center: $10,000 for operating support to provide child care and three meals a day for the children of essential workers

Second grant: $15,000 to purchase outdoor equipment for use in providing child care in summer months

Columbia County Recovery Kitchen: $15,000 to purchase healthy ingredients for 500 weekly meals over 12 weeks prepared by volunteer restaurant chefs and delivered to families experiencing food insecurity

Second grant: $5,000 to help produce 950 meals per week for food-insecure residents for six weeks 

Columbia County Sanctuary Movement: $15,000 to provide financial support for immigrant communities to meet basic needs, including medicine, housing, and food, as well as delivery of supplies

Columbia-Greene Community Foundation at Columbia-Greene Community College: $15,000 to provide financial support for students for costs such as tuition, housing, child care and food  

Common Ground Dispute Resolution: $1,080 to purchase Zoom accounts for remote counseling and mediation to families in crisis as a result of sheltering in place, loss of jobs and possible evictions

Friends of Hudson Youth: $12,000 for twice-weekly grocery deliveries to vulnerable families at four public housing sites in Hudson

Second grant: $11,880 for an ambassador program in parks and public places to keep kids without access to structured summer programs safe this summer

Future Hudson: $3,500 to create and implement Hudson Safe, a public health campaign to encourage mutual care and safe behavior in public spaces

The Healthcare Consortium: $15,000 to support its rural transportation service as it adapts to support individuals requiring dialysis and COVID-19 testing, and to deliver food to homebound residents

Hudson Day Care Center: $8,034 to cover salaries and the purchase of cleaning and sanitizing supplies during a period of reduced enrollment 

Ichabod Crane Central School District: $9,000 to provide weekend meals during summer months for approximately 80 families

Kite’s Nest: $13,800 to keep Hudson's only community garden safely open to serve fresh and healthy food to an estimated 200-plus low-income immigrants

The Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties: $10,000 to seed a rent fund and purchase food and grocery gift cards for low-income individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Second grant: $5,000 to provide rent support for low-income individuals and families with lost income.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Columbia County: $5,000 for videoconferencing fees and technical support for its website to promote services for individuals and families

New Lebanon Farmers Market: $7,000 for the Market Match program to double the spending power of families and seniors who are eligible for federal food and nutrition benefits

Second grant: $7,500 to purchase produce and dairy and provide staffing for the distribution of weekly food packages for eight weeks

Perfect Ten: $7,500 to support a six-week summer program with a range of engaging activities for girls aged 8 to 18 in Hudson

ReEntry Columbia: $6,946 to provide food and hygiene products, rental assistance and clothing to parolees, newly released or otherwise justice-involved residents who lack support systems 

Second grant: $14,873 to provide transportation, food and hygiene products, rental assistance and clothing to parolees, newly released or otherwise justice-involved residents who lack support systems

Roe Jan Food Pantry: $3,000 to supply food and toiletries to growing numbers of clients who have lost jobs and are not yet receiving government assistance    

Taconic Hills Central School District: $15,360 to provide one-on-one tuturing through a summer learning program for English as a New Language students 

Rolling Grocer 19: $5,000 to increase its outreach and food distribution to vulnerable populations including children and youth from low-income households and seniors

The Salvation Army of Hudson, NY$5,000 to provide boxed lunches and delivered meals, as well as diapers and baby formula, to families and seniors 

Time and Space Limited: $5,000 to provide affordable prepared dinners three times a week while its arts programming is halted 

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood: $15,000 to continue providing no-cost or sliding scale health care to its predominantly young, low-income and Medicaid-insured patients through telemedicine and safely delivered in-person services

Second grant: $15,000 to support sliding scale cost structure and telehealth care for patients at the Hudson Health Center 

Ancramdale
The Pond Restaurant 

Chatham
American Pie, Bimi's Cheese Shop, Browns Emporium, Inn at Silver Maple Farm, Lagonias Pizzeria, Lea's, Old Chatham Child Care, PieconicNY, The People's Pub, The Warm Ewe

Claverack
Olde York Farm

Copake
Dads Copake Diner, Depot Deli

Germantown
Central House Hotel Inn, Germantown Laundromat, Quittner Antiques  

Ghent
Boxwood Linen

Greenport
Hudson Polish Delicatessen, KS Fitness, Lumber Jack Athletics, Taconic Driving School

Hillsdale
CrossRoads Food Store, Foxy & Winston, Hillsdale House, Holiday House Motel, Passiflora, Tiny Hearts Farm Flower Shop, Trudy's Beauty Shop

Hudson
2hotteez, A Collector's Eye, Antigo, Batterby House, Bavier Brook, Behida Dolic Millinery, Bodhi Holistic Spa, Bruno's, Colonia Casa, Dish Hudson, Fig & Bella, Finch, Flowerkraut, Geoffrey Good Jewelry, Good Fight Herb Co., Home/Made Hudson, Hudson City Bed and Breakfast, Hudson Clothier, Hudson Hotel Group, I'M Beauty Store, Inn at 34, Iron Horse Cigar Depot, Jonathan's Computers, LikeMindedObjects, LYF Fitness, M&J's Unisex Hair Studio, Mane Street Hairstyles, Mount Merino Manor, Ninex Realty Management Group, Oak Pizzeria Napoletana, Pampered Pooch Grooming Salon, Pico de Mayo, Pilates Hudson, R McCarroll Upholstery Designs, Railroad CrossFit, Relish Delights, Rev Cafe, River Pilates, Sadhana Center for Yoga and Mediation, September Gallery, Sideshow Clothing Co., Spruce Salon, Tanzy's, The Bee's Knees, The Half Moon, Tommy's Salon, Valley Variety, Verdigris Tea

Kinderhook
Beaver Mill Antiques, Broad Street Bagel Company, Main Street Diner, Ruff Cuts, The Flammerie

New Lebanon
Berkshire Thrift, Bucky's Bagels, DMC Racing Products, Godfroy's Service Station, Hilltown Country Smokehouse, M & M’s Tap Room and Tavern, Masterpiece Jewelry Studio, Meissner's Auction Service and Antique Center, Ward Hatch Mechanical

Valatie
Albany Emkay Cleaners & Coin Laundry, Chris' Cafe, Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop, Filli's Deli and Bakery, KJ's Gymnastics, KT Hair Studio, Mairanda's Cutting Edge, Valatie Bar & Grill 

In addition, two Neighbor-to-Neighbor partners have distributed $38,500 to residents in need

Funding Partners: Donors with BTCF funds have provided nearly $150,000 in gifts to support these funds, along with $40,000 from our Fund for Columbia County and major gifts from the Mundy/Coan Charitable Fund and the Henry L. Kimelman Family Foundation.

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Northeast Dutchess County
 

Berkshire Taconic and its Northeast Dutchess Fund are focused on helping nonprofits, individuals and families in crisis in the 11 towns, villages and hamlets of northeast Dutchess County. 

The Northeast Dutchess Fund distributed $244,000 to vital nonprofits through two rounds of grantmaking in the spring and fall. These grants have helped the organizations fulfill their missions and address the needs of our most vulnerable residents.

Responsive Grants — Spring 2020

Bard College for Civic Engagement: $3,000 for the Pine Plains Citizen Science Program for middle school students

Center of Compassion: $5,000 for the School Backpack Program for children in need of food at home

Clinton Community Library: $5,000 in support of the Optimistic Aging Program for seniors

Engaging People in Change: $3,000 in support of summer programs for EPIC at Grace Church

First Presbyterian Church of Millerton: $3,500 for Caring Community dinners to build community and provide food and basic household essentials for those in need

Comida de Vida / Food of Life Pantry: $12,000 for food pantry operations at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church

Gateway to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows: $10,000 for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program for immigrants

Hope Rising Farm Therapeutic Riding Center: $3,000 for operational support during COVID-19

Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation: $3,000 to purchase computer tablets for the Telehospice Program

Innisfree Foundation: $3,000 in support of free admission for Northeast Dutchess Days at Innisfree Garden

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley: $6,000 to fund free legal services for northeast Dutchess residents in need

Millerton Adopt-A-Family: $5,000 to provide operational support for the Christmas 2020 giving program

Millbrook Early Childhood Education Center: $5,000 for the Scholarship Assistance Program

North East Community Center: $10,000 in support of Youth Enrichment Programs

NorthEast-Millerton Library: $2,804 to support the Providing Access Program during COVID-19

Pine Plains Central School District: $1,500 for sewing machines for the Family and Consumer Classroom Program

Rebuilding Together Dutchess County: $6,000 to support safe and healthy housing projects for low-income residents

Rock Steady Farm (with the Watershed Center): $3,000 to provide vegetable shares for low-income families

The Susie Reizod Foundation: $3,000 to supply shoes for the New Shoes Donation Program for children in northeast Dutchess

Stanford Free Library: $4,265 to support the Be Big Be Brave self-awareness and safety program for middle school
and high school girls

Town of Stanford: $3,000 to support the expansion of the food pantry in Stanford

Worker Justice Center of New York: $3,000 to purchase devices for virtual outreach and education of low-wage workers

Wassaic Project: $10,000 in support of 2020 artistic programming

White Pine Community Farm: $3,000 to provide locally grown herbs to low-income families  

Willow Roots: $3,000 in support of the We Care Food Pantry in Pine Plains

 

Pivoting to Respond Grants — Fall 2020

The Northeast Dutchess Fund provided nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 with unrestricted general operating support to achieve their missions. These flexible grants support an organization’s ongoing administrative and infrastructure costs and ability to maintain existing, effective programs. Grants focused on benefiting people from historically marginalized, under-served and under-resourced communities or populations.

Pivoting to Respond Grants co-funded by the Northeast Dutchess Fund and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley*

Center for Compassion: $5,000 in support of reopening their food pantry and thrift shop operations

Cornell Cooperative Extension: $5,000 for the Addressing Community Needs Through Education program in northeast Dutchess      

Gateway to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows: $5,000 in support of ABC Latino Media Network operations

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley: $5,000 to ensure the sustainability of their programs in northeast Dutchess            

North East Community Center: $5,000 to support Thriving Together programs for community residents

Rebuilding Together Dutchess County: $5,000 to support the restart of their Rebuilding Program in northeast Dutchess

Worker Justice Center of New York: $5,000 to support outreach and education for farm workers in northeast Dutchess as they face COVID-19 related setbacks         

Comida de Vida / Food of Life Pantry: $5,000 for infrastructure improvements for cold weather food distribution at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church

*Each organization received a total of $10,000 — $5,000 from NED and $5,000 from CFHV

Pivoting to Respond Grants funded by the Northeast Dutchess Fund

Clinton Community Library: $10,000 to provide devices for employees to work from home and online programming           

Grace Immigrant Outreach: $10,000 to support the continuation of the Grace Year Program fellowships        

Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association: $10,000 in general operating funds to cover loss of funding support       

Rock Steady Farm (with the Watershed Center): $10,000 to supplement operations in providing vegetable shares to low-income residents

Wassaic Project: $10,000 in support of the organization’s fall 2020 recovery plan         

Comida de Vida / Food of Life Pantry: $10,000 for food pantry expansion at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church

Our Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund has directed $70,000 to trusted social workers at Grace Immigrant Outreach, the North East Community Center and the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County (Dutchess CAP). They are using these resources to help their clients pay rent, cover medical bills and buy meals.

The Northeast Dutchess COVID-19 Relief fund is distributing $200,000 in cash cards to bring immediate relief to many residents facing extreme financial hardship, including those who may not be eligible for government assistance. Our social worker partners are preparing for additional waves of requests as residents reach out for support during the winter. This work is made possible through the significant gift of a generous anonymous donor.

Funding Partners: We thank the individuals and foundations who have supported our work in northeast Dutchess County, including the significant gift of our generous anoymous donor. Members of our Northeast Dutchess Fund committee have secured many gifts from the community. Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley co-funded grants for nonprofits with the Northeast Dutchess Fund. The Carson Family Charitable Trust has supported the NEDCorps 2.0 program, which features a network of client advocates who are helping individuals and families during the pandemic.

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Northwest Litchfield County
 

Berkshire Taconic and its Northwest Corner Fund launched the Northwest Corner COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to deploy flexible resources through trusted social service providers and nonprofits to residents in our nine towns who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

From late March to mid-April, Berkshire Taconic awarded nearly $16,000 in rapid response grants to 20 nonprofits providing services in the nine towns of the Northwest Corner during the pandemic. As these grants were available in the early weeks of the crisis, local organizations were able to better meet the immediate needs of vulnerable residents, including lower-income families, the elderly, veterans, immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, and those who are unemployed or whose work hours have been reduced due to the pandemic. These organizations helped individuals and families cover the costs of essential needs, including food, utilities, rent, diapers, child-care tuition payments, medical supplies and virtual access to counseling services. 

In May, Berkshire Taconic provided close to $60,000 in operational support to 13 nonprofits as they strive to continue their missions under evolving COVID-19 guidelines. This funding provided services for youth and children, mental and physical health programs, library safety modifications, emergency assistance, education, arts and culture, and essential needs. 

Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation—our partner in this work—matched our grants in both rounds, doubling the amount these organizations received.

AHA Afterschool Program: $750 to pay the balance due for the child care of children that attend the North Canaan Elementary School afterschool program to bring relief to families.

Canaan Child Care Center: $2,000 to help cover tuition payments for vulnerable families.

Cornwall Child Center: $1,000 to help cover tuition payments for vulnerable families.

Cornwall Food and Fuel Fund of the Cornwall Food Pantry: $500 to purchase food for Cornwall families in need.

Couch-Pipa VFW Post 6851: $1,000 to assist the Northwest Corner’s older veteran population with basic needs, including food, utilities and medical supplies.

EdAdvance: $500 to provide food and assistance with essential basic needs for vulnerable families, including immigrants, lower-income and homeless residents, and communities of color.

Falls Village Senior Center: $750 to provide assistance with essential basic needs—including rent, food, medication and utilities—for vulnerable seniors and lower-income families in Falls Village.

Family & Children’s Aid: $500 to provide families with gift cards for basic needs to alleviate financial concerns, allowing them to maintain virtual therapy sessions for their children.

Fishes and Loaves: $500 to purchase food and other supplies needed to serve an estimated increase of 20-25% in patrons the food pantry serves due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Geer Village: $1,250 to provide food and care to vulnerable seniors who are currently at home, and offer additional sick time to staff.

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: $750 to provide lower-income Northwest Corner residents with technological resources—ranging from refurbished computers to increased data plans—to virtually access mental health counseling services. 

Kent Affordable Housing: $750 to assist with rent and utilities for disadvantaged residents who are unemployed or have reduced hours due to the pandemic.

Litchfield County Family Child Care Network: $600 to offset pandemic-related costs incurred by a network of family child-care providers in northwest Connecticut, as well as assist families with day care costs.

McCall Center for Behavioral Health: $750 to provide clients with food and solar-powered cell phone chargers to help them access telemedicine options for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

New Opportunities: $750 to offer rental assistance to vulnerable residents, including the elderly, those without health insurance, and the recently unemployed.

Salisbury Visiting Nurse Association: $500 to purchase personal protective equipment for staff.  

Susan B. Anthony Project: $1,250 to provide victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with food, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, rental assistance, medical and behavioral health copays, formula and diapers and utility assistance.

Town of Warren Social Services: $500 to provide basic needs for residents, including food, diapers, medical supplies, hygiene items and gift cards for grocery deliveries, as well as print a newsletter to share these services with seniors and at-risk neighbors.

United Church of Christ in Cornwall: $500 to help residents in crisis during the pandemic, including rent subsidies, heating, food, medication and utilities.

Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires: $750 to provide financial assistance for essential basic needs for income-qualified northwest Litchfield County residents, including immigrants and lower-income individuals.

AHA Afterschool Program: $1,250 to install a child-friendly sink and a window that will allow for better air flow in the classroom.

Canaan Child Care Center: $4,275 to support renovations that comply with CDC-recommended isolation and physical space configurations.

David M. Hunt Library: $1,750 to renovate the book sale room into a multipurpose room for patron use that complies with current physical distancing restrictions.

Fishes and Loaves: $2,500 to support operating expenses due to increased demand for food.

Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center: $4,675 to modify all vehicles to install protective barriers.

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: $4,575 to support operating expenses to maintain client access to mental health treatment via telehealth.

Housatonic Child Care Center: $12,250 to support operating expenses and accommodate safer physical distancing in the facility.

Housatonic Youth Service Bureau: $10,000 to support operating expenses.

Kent Memorial Library: $3,150 to support the cost of sanitation and safety improvements.

Litchfield County Fire Chiefs Emergency Plan: $2,000 to support the purchase of a replacement command/first responder vehicle.

Northwest Connecticut Arts Council: $2,000 to support the Artist Relief Fund, a fund created to assist individual creative professionals in need of financial support.

Northwestern Connecticut Community College: $7,500 to support the Student Emergency Fund.

SOAR: $3,350 to support operating expenses of ongoing virtual programming for Salisbury Central School students.

In addition, the fund has distributed $67,000 to trusted Neighbor-to-Neighbor social service agencies in northwest Litchfield County. They are directing the funds to where they are needed most to help residents who are struggline during this crisis. These grants have been utilized largely for housing and associated costs, including utilities, repairs and security deposits. What’s more, thanks to a group of generous donors, dozens of student families in the Region One School District received grocery cards when meal delivery was interrupted over spring break.

Funding Partners: A generous $50,000 anonymous matching gift from a BTCF donor advised fund helped establish the emergency fund. Berkshire Taconic's Northwest Corner Fund contributed $50,000, and through its committee's leadership nearly 80 residents in our towns have donated to this effort. The Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation is our fundraising and grantmaking partner.

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Food

Fishes and Loaves food pantry is serving an estimated increase of 20-25% in patrons due to the pandemic. Photo by John Dolan

Farm

Rock Steady Farm provided vegetable shares for low-income families. Photo by John Dolan

Hudson

Friends of Hudson Youth provided food for vulnerable families and hosted an ambassador program to keep kids without access to structured summer programs safe this summer. Photo by John Dolan

Dalton

Summer program participants practiced personal prevention at the Dalton Community Recreation Association. Photo by John Dolan