COVID-19 grant funding available for grassroots nonprofits to help battle hunger, support recovery

Grassroots organizations seeking funding to help address food access and other relief efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for up to $25,000 in grant money to help their communities.

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Application is now available at The money is available thanks to he Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

Funding will prioritize small community- and faith-based organizations with limited support. The grant application must be submitted by Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

 “We are humbled and encouraged by the resourceful relief and recovery work happening across rural N.C. Grants up to $25,000 are available to support the rapid/ongoing response efforts of rural, grassroots organizations addressing both the new and exacerbated challenges their communities face due to the COVID-19 crisis. The grant will be for a period of nine months. In total, $1.35 million in funding is available,” according to a press release about the grant program.

A total of 70 percent of awards must go toward supporting food access with emphasis on healthy and local foods.

“Eligible expenses related to food access may include: food purchasing and distribution, cold storage for food distribution, transportation and staffing directly related to food access,” the grant program stated in documents.

The remaining 30 percent of funding will be used to address other relief efforts related to the pandemic, such as childcare, mental health, or other related operating expenses.

Nonprofits, town and county governments, churches and other faith-based groups, and existing Resourceful Communities partners including former and current Creating New Economies Fund grantees can apply. Organizations that are not a 501c3 nonprofit can still apply for a grant in partnership with a nonprofit fiscal agent.

Applicants must be located in rural communities, and organizations in some urban counties in North Carolina are not eligible. These counties include:  Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, and Wake. Statewide and regional agencies are also not eligible to apply.

All applicants will be required to submit an IRS 501c3 determination letter and W-9. If awarded funding, a signed grant agreement and organizational budget will be required.

For more information, email

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