Update on United Way, ACAF Community Relief Effort

(Sept. 2020 update) With the Coronavirus pandemic creating significant economic disruption in our area, the Allegany County Area Foundation and Allegany County United Way created Community Relief Funds (CRF) and a shared grant application and review process to streamline support for local organizations that are assisting county residents.  To date, over $24000 has been awarded with recipients including:

Alfred State College Food Pantry – for support of ASC students that experience food insecurity.

Fillmore Strong Food Program – run in cooperation with the Fillmore Wesleyan Church, this program makes and delivers ready made meals to persons unable to access other meal services due to age, disability, and transportation issues.

Cornell Cooperative Extension – For the CCE/Clover 4H program that provides substantial food boxes to farm families (active and retired) throughout Allegany County during this especially busy season.

Cuba Cultural Center – for the CCC’s Backpack (weekend food) Program serving 175 children from the Cuba-Rushford, Friendship and Belfast school districts.

Allegany County Historical Society – for equipment needed for the preservation of significant historical documents. Like many nonprofits, ACHS was unable to undertake its usual fundraising activities.

Hart Comfort House (hospice) – for equipment and supplies needed in order to reopen under NY State pandemic guidelines.

Genesee Library – for its activity kits for school-aged kids.

Salvation Army – support for food programs.

YMCA Wellsville – Two grants. First, for the Shepherding program, which actively reaches out to residents county wide and helps to take care of needs identified through this contact. More recently, ACAF/ACUW provided funds to support families that need access to the Y’s after school/child care program but are unable to afford the fees.

Allegany County Libraries – this summer, CRFs reviewed applications from two libraries seeking help with the unplanned expense of reopening in line with CDC guidelines. Knowing the important services provided by our local libraries, and that these reopening expenses would be experienced by all of them, the grant committee decided to provide support to all 17 Allegany County libraries.

The shared grant committee includes the directors and two board members from ACUW and ACAF. Once a grant is approved the organization directors determine the funding specifics. Each organization brought existing resources to this effort; these funds have been buoyed by generous community donations.

‘The shared grantmaking process has worked well’ AFAF Executive Director Bruce Campbell reports. ‘It’s been great working with our colleagues at the United Way to support the county in this time of unusual need.  We are really grateful for the support we’ve received from individuals and businesses around Allegany County.’

‘We are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with ACAF on this fund, and for the support we continue to receive from community members and businesses alike. Coretta Scott King once said “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members” and I think that rings true now, more than ever,” added ACUW Director Mandi Joyce-Phelps.

Grant applications are still being accepted. The ACAF website has more information and a link to the grant application. Bruce Campbell (director@acafny.org or 585-296-5616) and Mandi Phelps (mandi.phelps@acuw.com or 585-593-0020) are available to answer any questions.