Even as communities work through moment-to-moment impacts caused by the coronavirus, they're also figuring out ways to assist those who need it most. In Lexington, the United Way of the Bluegrass has partnered with Bluegrass Community Foundation to initiate the Coronavirus Response Fund. The company's LG&E and KU Foundation is teaming up with more than a dozen other businesses and organizations to make the effort possible.
"We are reaching out to partners across our service territories, working to find and create opportunities, like this one, to provide relief for those in desperate need," said Chairman, CEO and President Paul Thompson. "We take our role as a trusted neighbor in our communities seriously and know they're relying on all of us to help endure this crisis."
Grants from the newly formed resource will fund organizations and programs that have deep roots in Central Kentucky and experience working to provide residents with access to food, prescriptions and healthcare, childcare and other basic needs.
The Relief Fund hopes to move the initial round of regional assistance within the next few weeks. This first phase of rapid-response grants will address the immediate and basic needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by loss of work or reduced wages, school and business closures, and the increased demand for healthcare information and support among the most vulnerable community members. Other phases will help to address ever-changing community needs in the wake of the ongoing crisis.
Overseers of the fund are looking to community advisors and local governments to identify recipients, including nonprofit or other charitable organizations such as schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities.
The fund's first grant of $40,000 recently went to longtime KU partner God's Pantry to help provide food resources for area families.