First Coast Relief Fund grants $3.3 million in COVID-19 assistance

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund has surpassed the $3 million mark in grants awarded to nonprofit organizations responding to immediate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 85 agencies are recipients of nearly $3.3 million since grantmaking began in March. The Fund is a collaboration between The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida, United Way of Northeast Florida and United Way of St. Johns County. It has attracted more than $5 million in donations, and grantmaking continues weekly as applications continue to be received.

“By far, the greatest need we’ve seen to this point is for food and financial assistance,” said Kathleen Shaw, a member of the Relief Fund’s grants committee and vice president of Programs at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. “We have been able to make grants to some of the big regional food suppliers, like Feeding Northeast Florida and Barnabas, but we’ve also made grants to many smaller organizations so they can acquire food from the regional food banks and get it into their clients’ hands as soon as possible.”  

Applications from nonprofits are still coming in, and members of the relief fund’s grant committee continue to meet weekly to review, approve and ensure grants go out the door quickly. Priority is given to agencies in Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, Baker, Clay and Putnam counties that provide food; housing; financial assistance for individuals and families; child-care support for first responders and other frontline staff; medical, safety supplies and equipment; and technology support for safety net providers.

Vulnerable populations are a primary focus of relief fund grants. One of the earliest recipients was to ElderSource, Northeast Florida’s Area Agency on Aging.

“With the resources provided by the First Coast Relief Fund, we are able to help older adults with food, supplies, mental-health counseling through telehealth, telephone reassurance and financial assistance,” said Linda Levin, chief executive officer at ElderSource.

The Relief Fund has hundreds of donors at all levels. The following is a list of funders who have committed at least $50,000 to the Relief Fund for COVID-19: The City of Jacksonville, $1,000,000; The Humana Foundation, $500,000; Shad Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, $400,000; The Jim Moran Foundation, $250,000; J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, $250,000; Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation, $250,000; Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust, $150,000; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, $100,000; Bank of America, $100,000; CSX, $100,000; The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, $100,000; Florida Blue, $100,000; Humana, $100,000; Tom and Betty Petway, $100,000; Truist, $100,000; Winston Family Foundation, $100,000; Ally, $50,000; Cindy and Dan Edelman, $50,000; Mrs. Edward W. Lane Jr., $50,000; Fidelity, $50,000; FIS, $50,000;Macquarie Group Foundation, $50,000; Morgan Weaver, $50,000; Nancy and Gary Chartrand, $50,000; Regency Centers, $50,000; The Riverside Hospital Foundation, $50,000; TECO Peoples Gas, $50,000; VanTrust, $50,000; Zimmerman Family Foundation, $50,000.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund is administered by United Way of Northeast Florida with 100 percent of donations going to nonprofit agencies that provide direct services to individuals with needs that are not met by government programs.

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund will remain open until needs stabilize and while funding is available. To learn more, give or apply, visit

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