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Foundation announces $450,000 in grants to Montana safety net programs due to COVID-19


March 26, 2020

MISSOULA, Mont. – The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation announced Wednesday it has awarded $450,000 to 86 organizations that provide basic needs support to communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including this part of the Hi-Line.

Grants in varying amounts will be distributed to community safety net programs such as food banks and pantries, homeless shelters, rescue missions, United Ways, and Salvation Army organizations across Montana to address the explosion in demand for their services associated with the ongoing health crisis.

The donations announced include $1,500 with a matching opportunity for $750 to the Chinook Food Pantry; $1,500 with a matching opportunity for $750 to the Harlem Food Pantry, American Lutheran Church; $2,500 with a matching opportunity for $1,250 to the Havre Community Food Bank, District 4 Human Resources Development Council, and $2,000 with a matching opportunity for $1,000 to United Way of Hill County.

 The award includes initial grants totaling $300,000 for emergency response to the health crisis. In addition, the Foundation is committing $150,000 more in matching grants. Each organization will be eligible for a matching grant of up to 50 percent of their initial grant amount. The matching grant is designed to help raise additional resources from the organizations’ local communities. If all organizations take advantage of the matching grant, at least $600,000 will reach safety net programs across Montana, including the Foundation’s $450,000 total award.

The Foundation also understands that addressing ongoing social and human service needs associated with COVID-19 is an evolving process and may require the distribution of additional resources to meet emergency needs as they are identified.

 “Basic needs organizations are critically important to helping Montana’s most vulnerable citizens,” Foundation Executive Director Mike Halligan said. “The Foundation wants to help alleviate the strain placed on these organizations by the COVID-19 crisis by giving them a cash infusion now, while at the same time helping them generate additional resources by leveraging our donation.”

Food distributors such as food banks and pantries make up the bulk of the grant recipients, with the rest going to organizations that support the homeless or provide other basic needs support. These organizations have current funding relationships with the Foundation and were selected with the intention of providing the broadest level of support as quickly as possible.

The Foundation strongly encourages those who are able to contribute, to contact an organization in their area about making a matching donation.

To view the list of selected organizations, people visit the Foundation’s website at https://www.dpwfoundation.org/2020/03/2020-03-25-montana-safety-net-program-covid-19-grants .


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