More Than $35,000 of Aid Distributed from COVID-19 Response Fund

HASTINGS – The United Way of South Central Nebraska has awarded 24 grants totaling $35,822 to area nonprofits from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Grants have been awarded to address needs ranging from food and housing insecurities to support for nonprofits modifying their operations in the age of directed health measurers and social distancing.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our nonprofit community seems to expand and evolve every day. Our Community Response Fund is designed to be responsive to those changing needs” said Jodi Graves, executive director of United Way of South Central Nebraska. “The Response Fund committee meets weekly, sometimes more, to review requests and respond to needs as quickly as possible.”

Since being established in mid-March, $112,700 has been raised for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The United Way of South Central Nebraska and the Hastings Community Foundation partnered to provide the initial funding. Additional dollars have been raised from charitable foundations and private donations.

“The impact of COVID-19 on our community is going to be long term, so we need this fund to be long term too,” said Dan Peters, executive director of the Hastings Community Foundation. “The Response Fund committee is not only awarding dollars. Based on the grant requests, we’re also able to identify opportunities for organizations to work together to create efficiencies and maximize donor dollars.”

Examples of Community Response Grants that have been awarded include:

  • $1,000 to United Harvest to support the monthly food distribution program.
  • $2,000 to Goodwill Industries to allow Developmental Disability Services to meet with clients remotely.
  • $2,580 to Senior Action/Meals on Wheels for increased meal cost associated COVID-19 restrictions.
  • $500 to Harvard People’s Project to provide emergency aid to individuals.

Non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organizations serving Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties are eligible to make a grant request. Organizations do not need to be United Way agencies. Requests are awarded based on their ability to serve impacted populations and limiting the spread and impact of the virus. No grants will be awarded to individuals or families.

Additional gifts to the Community Response Fund can be made online at or mailed to United Way of South Central Nebraska, 301 S. Burlington, Hastings, NE 68901. The grant application is available at or

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