MONTCLAIR, NJ – The Montclair Foundation (TMF) has expedited its grants process to respond to the many hardships caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. TMF is immediately awarding close to $40,000 in grant funds to address key areas of food supplies, homelessness, emergency medical services and mental health support. An emergency fund has also been set aside as this crisis continues.
Toni’s Kitchen has been awarded $20,000 which fulfills the $20,000 donation match announced by Mayor Jackson from the Montclair Township this week. In such a short time, Toni’s Kitchen adjusted their organizational structure and rapidly built new outreach mechanisms to respond to food need in the community. The groups they serve include the homeless/near homeless, students in Montclair and Bloomfield public schools who qualify for free or reduced fee lunch, seniors at home and in senior group homes, Montclair Inn, Montclair Child Development Center and Neighborhood Childcare Center.
“It is astonishing how quickly they responded to this pandemic with increased services to the community, said Deborah Hirsch, TMF’s grants chairperson. This crisis is presenting tremendous challenges for all our social services agencies serving the entire community.”
“While we have transitioned to working remotely from our homes, we are maintaining all grant-making operations”, stated Emer Featherstone, The Montclair Foundation’s board chair. “I thank our grants chair, Deborah Hirsch and the grants committee for contacting our social service organizations to identify critical needs and resource gaps and determine the best approach to disseminate grant funds with the appropriate sense of urgency.”
Other organizations in Montclair and beyond who serve populations in need every day have found themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for those services. TMF also awarded immediate grants to Montclair Ambulance Unit, Interfaith Hospitality Network which provides emergency housing and Main Street Counseling which is providing mental health professional services throughout this anxious time.
Anita Peterson, Director of Development at The Montclair Foundation, praised the way the nonprofits groups rally together in our area. Four times a year, Anita heads up a nonprofit roundtable held at TMF’s offices in Van Vleck House for other charitable organizations to share information and listen to guest speakers. “Given the relationships that members of these organizations have forged, it was easier to put out the call to see who needs help the most urgently and to share ideas.”
If you would like to donate to TMF’s emergency fund you can do so at https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/MontclairFoundationInc/EmergencyFund.html