Centre Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund Will Assist 14 Local Nonprofits Providing Support on the Front Lines of the Global Pandemic.

Centre Foundation has awarded its first grants from the COVID-19 ACTION (Activating Contributions to Invest in Operations of Nonprofits) Fund in the amount of $100,000 to local nonprofits addressing the immediate health and human services needs of Centre County residents as a result of the pandemic.

“We are excited to release this first wave of funding into our community,” Molly Kunkel, Centre Foundation Executive Director said, “We know these programs will make a positive impact in the lives of our community members despite these challenging times.”

These grants will support vital local programs that provide food, shelter, telemedicine, and other essential services across the county. Recipients are as follows:

AIDS Resource Alliance, Inc. will receive $2,600 for its food delivery program which provides no-cost food assistance to immunocompromised clients receiving case management services, exhibiting financial hardships due to the pandemic, and residing within Centre County.

Centre Safe will receive $10,000 to upgrade their counseling and therapy technology. This grant will allow 80-100 survivors of domestic and sexual violence to maintain social distancing while improving accessibility to HIPPA compliant platforms and technological hardware such as ipads and laptops. The technology will be used in all of Centre Safe’s programs.

Centre Volunteers in Medicine will receive $10,000 to expand telemedicine in response to COVID-19. With this funding, CVIM will expand the availability of telemedicine visits, provide triage care, screen dental emergencies, expand behavioral health visits, and expand case management services.  

Child Development and Family Council of Centre County, Inc. will receive $5,000 for the Centre County COVID-19 Safety Net Fund for Children and Youth. This supplemental program will dispense funds to certified early learning programs to assist eligible families in paying for childcare services as they return to work. 

CommonFood Inc. will receive $10,000 to purchase food for the 170 food-insecure families they serve in Bellefonte, Port Matilda, State College, Julian, and surrounding areas. 

Discovery Space of Central PA will receive $5,000 for the manufacturing of 500 face shields to be donated to local nonprofits, healthcare agencies, and businesses that come into contact with high-risk community members.

FaithCentre will receive $7,000 to purchase fresh produce and protein sources for the FaithCentre Food Bank Purchase Program. This program serves over 500 low-income and food-insecure people monthly.

Housing Transitions will receive $5,000 for the Centre House’s Hotel Shelter Program. The program temporarily houses individuals in nearby hotels while they work to secure permanent housing with case managers. 

Howard Volunteer Fire Company will receive $5,000 for the Howard EMS QRS, which is a non-transport EMS service. Howard EMS QRS is an essential service providing patient stabilization in rural areas before an ambulance can arrive.

Out of the Cold: Centre County will receive $8,400 for its Hotel Shelter Program. To curtail the effects of the pandemic, guests of the overnight shelter program have been moved from congregate settings to hotel rooms and the overnight shelter season has been extended for an additional four weeks. 

Penns Valley Youth Center will receive $10,000 for its meal program which drops off food to over 400 homes experiencing food insecurity. Funds from this grant will be used to cover expenses for delivery vans, drivers, and fuel costs.

State College Meals on Wheels will receive $10,000 to feed the elderly and support local growers and restaurants. Currently, serving over 150 homebound people, Meals on Wheels will expand their services to include recently released patients from hospital stays, as well as others with short term needs for nutritious delivered meals. Grant funds will be used to prioritize sourcing food from local growers and farmers.  

Strawberry Fields, Inc. will receive $2,000 to purchase necessary safety supplies such as plexiglass dividers, cleaning and hygiene products, for their administrative offices, 15 residential programs, and 2 retail stores: Scraps & Skeins and Good Day Cafe. 

YMCA of Centre County will receive $10,000 for its Anti-Hunger/Emergency Feeding Program. The YMCA currently provides 1,500 meals per day at 25 drive-through sites and has expanded its weekend food bag program for families, as well as soup drive-throughs for seniors and veterans. Funding will help to both continue and expand these offerings.

The Centre Foundation COVID-19 ACTION Fund opened with a balance of $375,000, which is earmarked to provide support to local nonprofits amid the pandemic. It was seeded with $125,000 from the Centre Foundation Community Impact Fund. Knight Foundation has pledged a further $250,000, allocated from their donor-advised fund, understanding that the pandemic is presenting the nonprofit community with significant hardship.

The remaining $275,000 will be released in two subsequent phases.

Funding from Phase Two will support the operational or programmatic needs of local nonprofits in their ongoing efforts to provide services during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • The total available for Phase Two is $150,000.
  • Applications will open in July 2020 and grants will be announced in August 2020.
  • Funding may be used to support the operating costs and/or programs of nonprofits that serve Centre County residents and have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. It is not limited to health or human services organizations or programs. 

As the ongoing effects of COVID-19 may not be clear for several months, Centre Foundation will continue to monitor the crisis and work closely with local nonprofits to assess long term impacts. Funding from Phase Three will provide support for strategic planning for nonprofits as they face the rapidly changing needs in the community as a result of COVID-19. 

  • The total available for Phase Three is $125,000. 
  • Applications for Phase Three will become available in late 2020. 


Anyone interested in supporting the fund can make a gift here: https://centre-foundation.orgfunds/centre-foundation-covid-19-action-fund/

For more information about Centre Foundation’s granting programs, please visit Centre-Foundation.org, email info@centre-foundation.org, or leave a message at (814) 237-6229.

 Centre Foundation’s mission is to inspire and facilitate a culture of giving to create a more vibrant community.