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Oregon Community Foundation awards nearly $400,000 to regional nonprofits during pandemic

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The Oregon Community Foundation has awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to help regional nonprofits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The foundation said the money is intended to support the work of local and state governments addressing the pandemic by shoring up nonprofits providing services.

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The regional food bank has seen an increase in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

“OCF recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak will only widen the deep disparities that cause suffering for the most vulnerable in our state: communities of color, individuals who experience poverty, individuals who experience disabilities, individuals who experience homelessness, children and other vulnerable populations,” the foundation said in a statement.

Twelve nonprofits in the region were awarded grant money, including several that provide critical services in Clatsop County.

The Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District and the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council each received $50,000.

Community Action Team received $49,500, Clatsop Community Action received $30,000, Helping Hands received $25,000, South County Community Food Bank received $12,000 and Clatsop Court Appointed Special Advocates received $10,000.

“Oregonians have always come together in a crisis, and today is no different,” Max Williams, the CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation, said in a statement.

“The bond holding us together is strong and we’ve proven our ability to rise to challenges of all kinds,” he said. “We understand the importance of supporting our most vulnerable residents. The COVID-19 outbreak is a threat to our public health, economic security and community stability.”

Viviana Matthews, the executive director of Clatsop Community Action, said the agency will use the funding for housing assistance, energy assistance and the regional food bank.

“Clatsop Community Action and its board of directors are extremely grateful to the Oregon Community Foundation for funding throughout this very difficult time,” Matthews said in an email.

“During these challenging times, CCA has seen a significant increase in the amount of requests for services from our struggling community members. Because of organizations such as the Oregon Community Foundation, CCA has been able to respond to the needs of the community by helping people and families stay housed and meet other basic needs such as food.”

Nicole Bales is a reporter for The Astorian, covering police, courts and county government. Contact her at 971-704-1724 or nbales@dailyastorian.com.

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