Community Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in donations in response to COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Over the past six weeks, more than $1.5 million in donations has been spread throughout Memphis and the greater surrounding area to help in the pandemic.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is leading the charge in the local response to COVID-19. It wants to quickly meet the needs of people struggling right now.

FOX13 spoke with the President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Bob Fockler. He said the foundation gets with its partners and awards money to non-profits on a weekly basis for everything from COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites to getting food to families in need and much more.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

“Food and housing have been at the top of the list,” said Fockler.

Fockler told FOX13 that so far, the organization has raised $1.54 million in donations and the mission to use funds to help during the pandemic is clear.

“It’s everything from the elderly to low-income folks who are experiencing short term financial crisis to people who have lost their jobs,” he said.

CFGM raises the money through its private local donors.

Fockler said in the past six weeks CFGM has PUT money in the hands of 70 different organizations across the Mid-South through its COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

On a weekly basis the City of Memphis, the county, and two other agencies it partners with help them pick non-profits to award grant money. This week they distributed $200,000 to 11 organizations.

Agape Children’s Advocacy Group received $25,000.

“We have nearly 400 families who have said ‘we are in food insecurity times, we are not sure where food will come from.’ So, donations from the community foundation have been significant in order to help us have food delivered directly to the homes,” said David Johnson.

Fockler said 60% of the money raised is for the needs of people and there are plans to use the other 40% of the funds for COVID-19 recovery efforts.

“We have folks who get it. They get what Memphis is and they get what Memphis needs. It doesn’t surprise me in a time of crisis the city answers - that’s been our history,” said Fockler.

The grant money isn’t reserved for big agencies. Small non-profits receive funding too. Many have helped feed people the same day it received funds.

For a list of agencies that have received COVID-19 grant money CLICK HERE.

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App.