The Delaware Does More COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, managed by United Way of Delaware, recently released $228,750 in community investments to help 18 community-based organizations across the state serve Delawareans needing food, shelter, utilities, and other critical products and services in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Much of the funding has been directed to assist low-income and/or homeless individuals and families. To date, the fund has released $468,750. A fourth round of funding is expected on or around Friday, May 8.
Through the first two rounds of funding totaling $240,000, the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund has assisted 23,010 Delawareans in 7,670 households and has provided 84,310 meals. The breakdown of community investments is as follows: housing 56 percent; food 20 percent; utilities 18 percent; transportation 4 percent; and other 2 percent.
Third-round recipient organizations were selected by a committee of funders including United Way of Delaware, the Santora Group CPAs, Delmarva Power, DuPont, Chesapeake Utilities Corp. and Highmark Health. Recipients were chosen for the strength of their on-the-ground operations in key population areas across the state, and because each has the scope, scale and experience to manage emergency relief efforts.
United Way of Delaware President and CEO Michelle A. Taylor said, “Nearly six weeks into this crisis, the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund is still helping close the resource gap around food, shelter and utilities, especially for some of the most vulnerable Delawareans. We are so grateful and proud that our corporate partners and individual donors continue to step up to meet this unprecedented challenge.”
In response to a 25 percent surge in caller demand, Taylor said United Way has expanded hours for its 211 Helpline, and moved the information and referral service to a seven-day-a-week schedule. Delawareans seeking assistance with COVID-19 and other questions can now dial 2-1-1 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Sussex County-related third-round recipients of the Delaware Does More Rapid Response Fund include: Boys & Girls Club $15,000 for food program, grab/go meals, emergency childcare site, utility assistance for families; Catholic Charities $20,000: food, transportation, basic needs for families; Community Legal Aid $10,000: secure protective orders for victims of domestic violence, court filings, continuing education and outreach efforts for families; First State Community Action Agency $30,000: housing, food, utilities, transportation, medical, hygiene and cleaning supplies, replenish food pantry for families; and Jewish Family Services $10,000: food, utilities, baby products, basic needs for refugees and families.