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SNF Continues Pandemic Relief Initiative with over $9.8 Million in New Grants

Nov 25, 2020
In the latest round of SNF’s $100 million global COVID-19 relief initiative, new grants continue the initiative’s focus on supporting organizations providing essential services to vulnerable populations.

As the pandemic grinds on, impacting communities around the world ever more deeply, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announces a new round of grants as part of its $100 million global relief initiative. This fifth round, which includes 26 new grants totaling more than $9.8 million, brings the total allocated to $81.9 million. The new grants seek to help organizations address critical needs—from food, to shelter, to health care, to education—and also provide additional support to grantees funded in the earlier rounds of the initiative who continue to do important and impactful work in the face of increasing need and deepening challenges.

“Even as news of potential vaccines gives us hope for next year, the pandemic is still surging and the needs it has produced have only become more deeply entrenched,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “In the face of sustained and increasing challenges, we’re re-upping our support for the excellent work of a number of the organizations previously included in the initiative and providing new grants for others. We are inspired by the perseverance of these organizations in facing strong headwinds to serve the most vulnerable among us, and we thank them for the opportunity to collaborate in this vital effort.”

Each of the organizations, whether new to the initiative or a repeat grantee, has a proven record of leveraging resources to make meaningful, timely impact. Poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood, which is receiving a significant renewal grant, has rushed emergency assistance to New Yorkers in the hardest-hit communities through its COVID-19 Relief Fund. Rethink Food, a new grantee receiving significant support, aims to get food to people who need it while sustaining small businesses. Rethink serves as the connective tissue between community-based organizations seeking meals for food-insecure clients and restaurants ready to make meals and keep staff employed.


Food, shelter, and direct assistance
As many New Yorkers struggle more than ever to meet basic needs, new grants support organizations working to deliver healthy food, safe shelter, and effectual cash transfers.

  • City Harvest, New York: Renewing a grant to support City Harvest in rescuing millions of pounds of food from producers, grocery stores, and restaurants for redistribution to New Yorkers in need
  • Coalition for the Homeless, New York: Expanding on a previous grant to provide meals and other essentials to residents of homeless shelters, the new grant will help meet a sustained increase in demand for warm clothing, cash cards for necessities, and eviction prevention assistance and will help renovate a health center for children with infectious diseases for COVID-19 safety
  • Make the Road NY, New York: Building on a grant to provide direct cash assistance to thousands of vulnerable households, the new grant continues that assistance and adds emergency food support, enrolling low-income families in health insurance and food benefits, legal support related to the pandemic, and adult education classes
  • Hot Bread Kitchen, New York: Helping alumnae of their workforce development program meet needs like housing, childcare, and transportation to support them in securing new job opportunities and piloting a project to put minority- and women-owned catering businesses to work addressing food insecurity
  • Women In Need, New York: Supplying food pantry items to hundreds of families experiencing homelessness, installing air purification systems at shelters serving thousands of people, and equipping staff with the technology they need to provide remote support to clients
  • Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco), New York: Installing broadband wireless hotspots in two affordable housing developments in the Bronx and providing essential food support for residents
  • Urban Justice Center, New York: Renewing grant support for the Street Vendor Project to get small food vendor businesses back to work, providing thousands of free meals to people in need in their communities
  • Rethink Food, New York: Providing meals to people facing food insecurity while helping mainstay community restaurants in neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic maintain their workforce and stay in business over the course of the tumultuous year to come
  • Robin Hood: Renewing significant grant support to help low-income New York families access food, emergency cash assistance, and mental health services

Preschool through college students
Grants support populations of New York students in their academic and personal growth—in and beyond the classroom.

  • Harlem Academy, New York: Building on a previous grant to provide increased tuition assistance to families and equip students with laptops for remote learning, a new grant supports Harlem Academy in continuing to deliver individualized rigorous education and holistic personal support
  • Hunter College Foundation, New York: Hiring an additional full-time counselor to provide mental health support to thousands of students, many from low-income families, as they face stresses including increased insecurity in food, finances, and employment
  • Books for Kids, United States: Supporting early reading and literacy skills by ensuring that disadvantaged families and kids living in homeless shelters have access to a library of books and guided story time

Health care and mental health support
Grants seek to meet the critical needs of several populations of New Yorkers, from older adults to health care workers.

  • New Alternatives for Children, New York: A previous grant provided mental health support, medical care, and other essentials to thousands of children with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and mental health diagnoses, and the new grant will continue this effort amid the multi-layered challenges facing these clients 
  • Service Program for Older People, New York: Extending the impact of a previous grant by increasing the organization’s staff and technological capacity to provide mental health services to thousands of older New Yorkers remotely
  • Montefiore Medical Center, New York: Providing consistent, quality primary and specialty health care and mental health services though the Montefiore School Health Program, which reaches tens of thousands of students in nearly 100 public schools
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York: Supporting the wellbeing of a staff that numbers in the tens of thousands by providing financial assistance, food, housing, childcare, transportation, and mental health care services

Relief for independent artists
Building on grants to several collaborative relief funds, new grants look to the needs of actors, independent artists, and arts organizations.

  • The Actors Fund, United States: Providing emergency relief and support services to individuals working in entertainment and the performing arts industries
  • The Indie Theater Fund, New York: Helping sustain the city’s ecosystem of daring independent theater by providing rapid relief to artists, companies, and venues

From laundry services for people on the streets of Athens to online recreational therapy for isolated children with serious illnesses, organizations in Greece, Italy, and Spain are working to deliver aid where it’s needed most.


  • Ithaca Laundry, Athens: Providing mobile laundry services to people experiencing homelessness in Athens while offering on-site work placement and employability skill-building for people from the same population


  • EMERGENCY: Building on a previous grant that supported health care clinics across Italy, the new grant supports delivery of food, hygiene items, and cleaning supplies to thousands of households across four provinces
  • Fondazione Progetto Arca: Continuing the support of a previous grant to provide food to vulnerable families and expanding to reach hundreds of additional families in central and southern Italy
  • Associazione Dynamo Camp: Engaging children with serious and chronic illnesses in online recreational therapy activities, including through online workshops for hospitals and foster homes


Ayuda en Acción: A previous SNF grant helped support distance education, food assistance, and COVID-19 transmission reduction in countries across Central and South America; a new grant will support the Resilient Digital Schools project in helping to close the digital gap and meet basic needs for students in Spain, where the organization is based

Grants across a number of countries focus on enabling local providers to offer critical medical care.

  • mothers2mothers: Building on a previous grant, this new grant will help empower the organization’s Mentor Mothers to continue to disseminate trusted health information to mothers in 10 countries across Africa and help women living with HIV continue to pursue treatment
  • Lifebox: Supplying pulse oximeters, critical in care for COVID-19 patients, in countries across Africa, Central and South America, and Asia; conducting country-specific training workshops; and making interactive online training available
  • Friends Without A Border: Meeting rising demand for quality free pediatric medical care to families from a wide geographic region around Luang Prabang, Laos

Other grantees in the previous four rounds of the relief effort include the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the San Antonio Food Bank, Bangor Region YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, GrowNYC, Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital, The Rockefeller University, the French Red Cross, Boroume, Médecins Sans Frontières, City Parks Foundation, Figure Skating in Harlem, and many others.