Three Brooklyn nonprofits supporting communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been awarded $150,000 by Brooklyn Communities Collaborative.
Brooklyn Communities Collaborative Board Member Marilyn Fraser said the pandemic's impact had been felt across Brooklyn and the city as a whole — but the human and economic costs had hit historically overlooked communities even harder.
"Since March, we've committed to closing the longstanding health and economic inequities that plague our society," she said, adding the BCC fund was designed to enhance services for those affected by inequities with programs in their local communities.
"There is so much more work to do, but we look forward to working with these incredible organizations in the months ahead to ensure that Brooklynites live longer and healthier lives."
FAN4Kids provides innovative nutrition and fitness programs to introduce children to a lifetime of healthy living. The new funding will support in-person and virtual physical fitness and nutrition classes for students at two elementary schools in Brownsville and East New York. FAN4Kids CEO Robert L. Oliver Jr. said the funding would be used to educate, empower and improve health within the Brooklyn communities the organization served.
"It's never been more urgent and vital to expand our fitness and nutrition program to more children and families, especially since over 90% of population we serve is Black and brown -- communities which experience greater health disparities, most recently highlighted in the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
NTAC helps grassroots organizations improve their programs and organizational effectiveness in addressing the needs of low-income communities. The funding will support the creation of a network of Black clergy women, who are frontline support to community members, and a resource guide with different community resources.
NTAC President Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver-Durrah said for over 25 years, the organization had worked to build capacity of nonprofit organizations. And during the past 10 years, the work had shifted to support faith-based institutions as well.
"Clergy women will be able to build their capacity to create community change and survival during COVID," she said of the funding. "We believe clergy women are indeed first responders during any neighborhood crisis but they also require support as caregivers.
Reaching Out Community Services, Inc. is fighting to eliminate hunger across the five boroughs. The funding will cover food pantry, personnel and administrative costs to address food insecurity by giving Brooklynites a food pantry model that lets them "shop" for what they need, instead of receiving prepacked items.
Reaching out Community Services, Inc. President and Executive Director Thomas Neve said the grant was a "lifeline for the continuation of providing hope and relief to our neighbors in need."