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News & Happenings

First Grants Awarded from Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund

Four Organizations Receive Funding to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis

Nelsonville, OH The Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund’s first four grants support nonprofits that are working to provide basic necessities and ensure the health and safety of Appalachian Ohio’s most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Through this round of funding, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) awarded over $23,000 to four nonprofits working to make a difference across 11 counties in Appalachian Ohio. Grant recipients include Community Food Initiatives, Hocking County Community Hospital, the Salvation Army of Northeast Ohio, and St. Vincent de Paul Conference of St. Peter Parish in Clermont County.

“COVID-19 has presented very real and significant challenges in our region,” said Foundation for Appalachian Ohio President and CEO, Cara Dingus Brook. “As we assess the work that needs to be done now and in the future, we are bolstered by our region’s greatest asset – the incredible love we have for each other. The strength of this love is so clearly demonstrated by those working on the frontlines, in our food pantries and health care systems. We are grateful for them and for all of the donors who joined their efforts through a gift to the Emergency Response Fund to make this first round of grants possible.”

Community Food Initiatives will be ensuring that fresh produce reaches 45 pantries,13 schools, and local donation stations serving Athens, Meigs, Morgan, Vinton, and Washington counties for the next two months. This produce will supplement shelf stable food items while also supporting local farms. By purchasing the food directly from local farmers and producers, Community Food Initiatives will support farmers whose businesses have suffered disruptions to usual revenue streams without being able to sell to restaurants and others.

Hocking County Community Hospital received funding to increase its capacity to treat an expected surge of COVID-19 patients through the conversion of existing spaces to negative pressure rooms, additional sanitizer stations, and supplemental training and education for hospital staff.

The Salvation Army of Northeast Ohio received funding to supplement food pantry operations in Columbiana, Guernsey, Jefferson, and Tuscarawas counties. Economic disruptions from COVID-19 have dramatically increased the number of people relying on local pantries for food as well as for basic needs.

The St. Vincent de Paul Conference of St. Peter Parish in New Richmond received funding to support the most vulnerable in their community by providing assistance with food, clothing, medicine, and housing to those in need across their service area in Clermont County.

The immediate and long-term needs resulting from COVID-19 will be felt across Appalachian Ohio’s communities for quite some time and with additional gifts the Emergency Response Fund will be here to help. Because of the generosity of donors, FAO continues to have funds available and encourages nonprofits in need of assistance to reach out and share their needs.

“We at FAO hope that everyone reading about our Emergency Response Fund will consider getting involved by sharing word of it with the nonprofits in their communities who might need help, or by giving a gift,” continued Brook. “Every gift to the Emergency Response Fund, no matter its size, will enable the Fund to award more grants and continue to make a greater difference for the nonprofits and communities of Appalachian Ohio.”

For more information about FAO’s Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund and how eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofits and public organizations may request funding, or to support the fund with a gift today, visit or contact FAO at 740.753.1111 or

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit