Evanston Community Foundation announces grants to help address homelessness, food security and mental health


Daily file photo by Maia Spoto

Jennifer and William Eason stand behind the counter at Jennifer’s Edibles. Jennifer’s Edibles is set to receive part of Evanston Community Foundation’s latest round of grants.

Julia Richardson, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Community Foundation announced Monday its latest round of grant recipients through its Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund. The grants, which total to over $300,000, will continue supporting nonprofit organizations and community members through the COVID-19 pandemic.

ECF established the Rapid Response Fund days after COVID-19 arrived in Evanston, and has received nearly $4 million in donations since March 2020. The fund has awarded $4.3 million in grants since its inception.

The fund’s new round of grants seek to address homelessness, food security and mental health. The recipients include a collaborative grocery program through C & W Market, Evanston Aid and District 65 Family Center that will provide groceries to over 400 community members, focusing on families with young children, seniors and minority-owned businesses. ECF has also awarded grants to Interfaith Action of Evanston, which has organized a warming center, and to small businesses distributing meals to residents, like Soul & Smoke and Jennifer’s Edibles.

ECF also awarded Operating Grants to seven nonprofits, including Childcare Network of Evanston, McGaw YMCA and Metropolitan Family Services.

Rebecca Cacayuran, vice president for community investment, wrote ECF has focused its fund on relief efforts since the pandemic’s inception, and plans to shift to recovery and rebuilding within Evanston.

“The impact of the virus has been staggering, and the challenges here in Evanston continue to exist,” Cacayuran said in a press release. “Unfortunately, the relief phase is lasting longer than expected and the crisis has, once again, revealed the inequities in our community.”

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Twitter: @juliaa_grace

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