Community Foundations COVID-19 Grant Program
The Community Foundations COVID-19 Grant Program was established in the 2020 legislative session under the Community Foundations Act. The program is administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), which has issued Rules governing the program’s operations. Program funding, a total of $4 million for nonprofit entities and an additional $4 million for food pantries, is to be provided through the state’s seven community foundations. The application for the MS CARES grant program went live on Wednesday September 23.
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi received $1.2 million in CARES Act funding ($614,907.03 for nonprofits and $614,907.03 for food pantries) to award grants of up to $4,000 to Eligible Grantees. An applicant must apply either as a “nonprofit entity” or a “food pantry,” both of which are defined in the Act. An organization that meets both definitions, such as a nonprofit that operates a food pantry but also has other programs, may qualify as an Eligible Grantee for both funds. An organization that operates multiple food pantries may qualify each food pantry as a separate Eligible Grantee, provided that each pantry serves a distinct and separate geographic area and population.
Eligible Grantees may be reimbursed for Eligible Expenditures incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Eligible Expenditures are outlined in the Community Foundations Act across eighteen categories as follows:
- Costs to create social distancing measures
- Costs to clean or disinfect areas due to COVID-10
- Personal Protective Equipment “PPE”
- COVID-19 testing
- COVID-19 screenings
- Expenses for technical assistance concerning mitigation of CoVID-19 related threats
- Contactless equipment
- Equipment or items designed to track positive COVID-19 cases
- Expenses for quarantining individuals
- Necessary re-opening expenses to address COVID-19 issues
- Expenses to facilitate teleworking
- Expenses to facilitate distance learning
- Expense for additional food delivery costs and expenses, including the purchase of food, for vulnerable populations to enable compliance with COVID-19 public health precautions
- Expenses for care for homeless populations
- Grants to prevent evictions or foreclosure to prevent homelessness
- Grants to individuals and households who have been directly impacted by loss of income
- Expenses for employment and training programs for individuals who have lost employment
- Expenses incurred due to the interruption of the Nonprofit Entity’s business including mortgage interest, increase in rent, payroll, or utilities due to COVID; Loss of fundraising revenue due to COVID
The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi is be responsible for reviewing applications for fourteen Mississippi counties. The list of counties includes: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Grenada, Leflore, Marshall, Panola, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, and Yalobusha counties.
Applications for a grant must be completed online through the grant’s portal accessible at www.mscaresgrant.com. Applications must be filed no later than 5:00 pm CT on Friday, January 15, 2021, but funding is on a first-come, first-served basis so earlier applications are encouraged.
Please learn more about the Community Foundations COVID-19 grants by visiting www.mscaresgrant.com to access relevant documentation and the official application. Specific questions related to this grant funding for the fourteen counties can be directed to the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.