The partner agencies involved in the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund today announced the recipients of a fourth round of pandemic relief funding. Nine organizations will receive allocations totaling $415,000.
The fund was created through a partnership of United Way of Summit County, the City of Akron, the County of Summit, Akron Public Schools, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Summit County Public Health and Job & Family Services.
Of the relief funding announced today, $50,000 will go to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for food acquisition and distribution during the pandemic.
$125,000 will go to Akron Public Schools to promote student and family engagement throughout the pandemic and to support the basic needs of the community through the Family Resource Centers operated by United Way of Summit County. United Way’s Family Resource Centers provide information, assistance and referrals to community resources, including health and social services, academic enrichment and more. With many Summit County residents facing lost jobs and reduced paychecks due to the pandemic, there has been a dramatic rise in demand for basic needs support.
$40,000 will go to Barberton City Schools. As the pandemic has necessitated increased safety measures, school districts face new costs for the coming school year. “The Barberton City School District is very appreciative of receiving funding from the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund,” said Jeffrey Ramnytz, superintendent of Barberton City Schools. “Our district will utilize these funds to make sure our day-to-day operations provide a safe environment for students and staff once they return to school in August.”
$20,000 will go to Akron Area YMCA to support its childcare programs. With many summer programs cancelled, parents throughout the community are facing an unexpected need for childcare.
Though the negative impact of the pandemic has been widespread, much of the economic damage has been concentrated in neighborhoods that rely on small, often minority-owned businesses to serve residents and provide jobs to members of the surrounding community.
$100,000 will go to the Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) to support recovery efforts. “COVID-19 has devastated the downtown ecosystem, and these funds will be utilized to assist in supporting small businesses as they struggle to sustain themselves through this crisis,” said Suzie Graham, president of DAP. “DAP is honored to receive this grant support to assist in the repair and rebuilding of the downtown neighborhood,”
$20,000 each will go to the Well CDC, the Kenmore CDC, the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the Progressive Alliance CDC to support recovery in the Middlebury, Kenmore, East Akron and West Akron neighborhoods, respectively.
To date, the Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund has raised more than $1.7 million. Last month, the fund worked with the Cleveland Clinic to provide $150,000 for the creation of a COVID-19 testing site in downtown Akron, which will open to the public next week. In total, the fund has so far distributed more than $1.2 million in pandemic relief.
“The past three months have been an extraordinary test of our community’s resilience and commitment to working together,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit County. “The incredible generosity demonstrated by the people of Summit County in supporting the immediate response to this pandemic is proof that we have what it takes to overcome this once-in-a-lifetime crisis.”