The Community Foundation Announces First Grants from The More Than $1Million Raised for Their SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund

Apr 9, 2020

NEW BEDFORD — The Community Foundation’s SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund is focusing on the needs of our community most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are announcing $325,000 in unrestricted operating grants to nonprofits throughout the SouthCoast region.

The Community Foundation announced it has raised more than $1million, thanks to contributions from private and corporate donors from local philanthropic and business organizations and individuals. Major external donors to the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund include the Barr Foundation, Manton Foundation, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, BankFive, Island Foundation, Van Sloun Foundation, BayCoast Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Karina Foundation, HarborOne, Plimoth Investment Advisors and Prime Buchholz, many generous donors with donor advised funds held with the Community Foundation, and local residents.

The first-round of grants totaling $325,000 covered a range of issues and needs including: food insecurity, elder services, immigrant support, homeless and support for frontline medical care providers. These grants range from local food pantries to social service agencies. But what they all have in common is a shared commitment to serve their community, strong and visionary leadership, and a collaborative spirit. Among the grantees, Coastal Foodshed, knows the issues around food insecurity due to COVID-19.

There is a tremendous need to serve our community by providing access to fresh, local foods while simultaneously supporting our local farmers and food producers. To ensure the safety of our staff, vendors and customers, we have transitioned our programs to a delivery and pick up model through the launch of our Virtual Farmers Market and Farm Stand. Our new model connects our community back with our local food system and has become a lifeline to many who are not able to access food at a time when it’s paramount to maintain the health of our families and friends.” Said Kim Ferreira and Stephanie Perks, co-founding directors for Coastal Foodshed.

Coastline Elderly also received a grant from the Fund. Paula Shiner, CEO of Coastline Elderly said, “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Coastline has remained committed to caring for our community. As we continue to address the impact of this global pandemic on our area, private philanthropy has become critical to our success, and it ensures that older adults and adults with disabilities are able to access services and receive home-delivered meals – even during this time of uncertainty.”

“Our role at the Community Foundation is to mobilize philanthropy in response to community needs. Two months ago, few of us could imagine how those needs have changed in response to this pandemic. Just over the past three weeks, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our neighbors, in awe of the amazing nonprofit leadership and humbled by your trust in the Community Foundation”, said John Vasconcellos, President of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.

Details of each grantee’s work can be found listed here. Grants for general operating support ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 were distributed to the following organizations:


  • Acushnet Council On Aging
  • Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores
  • Citizens for Citizens, Inc.
  • Coastal Foodshed
  • Coastline Elderly Services
  • Community Economic Development Center
  • Community Nurse Home Care
  • Fairhaven Council On Aging
  • Fall River Diocese Catholic Social Services
  • Fall River YMCA
  • Family Service Association
  • Greater Fall River Food Pantry
  • Immigrants’ Assistance Center
  • The Marion Institute
  • New Bedford Council On Aging
  • NorthStar Learning Centers
  • People Acting In Community Endeavors (PACE)
  • People Incorporated
  • Rise Up for Homes
  • The Women’s Center
  • United Neighbors of Fall River
  • United Way of Greater New Bedford
  • The YWCA of Southeastern MA

How to give
Donations may be made online here. For general questions and inquiries about the Fund, please direct your inquiry to If you are an interested partner or would like to make a donation, please contact the Community Foundation’s Development Manager, Tricia at Lastly, for media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Jasmyn Baird at

About the Community Foundation
Our Community. Your Foundation. Since 1995, area residents have been turning to the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts to make their philanthropic giving as effective as possible. The Community Foundation is a public charity serving thousands of people who share a common concern – improving the quality of life in Southeastern Massachusetts. To date, the Community Foundation has distributed over $25 million from over 175 funds to humanitarian, educational and cultural organizations in the region. More information about the Foundation can be found at

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