Mid-Iowa Health Foundation awards $120,000 in grants to respond to COVID-19

May 12, 2020

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation has awarded 10 grants totaling $120,000 to nonprofit organizations and the Greater Des Moines Disaster Recovery Fund to address the surge in need for services that keep Central Iowans in their homes, safe, and healthy. 

The foundation identified grant recipients after listening to urgent needs in the community, with a focus on building capacity to support children and families who are likely to suffer disproportionately during the COVID-19 crisis because of pre-existing systemic, economic, social, and health barriers. 

“More than ever, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation is committed to improving the health of vulnerable families in our region,” said Libby Jacobs, Board Chair of the Foundation. “Our grants leverage public and private partnerships to build stronger systems of support for Central Iowans who need help accessing food, housing, and health and mental health services—all of which are critical to a family’s long-term well-being.”

The foundation has made the following grants: 

  • Disaster Recovery Fund - $25,000 to support collaborative efforts to address emergency needs
  • Central Iowa Immigrant and Refugee Community Support Fund - $10,000 to support a collaborative effort among Proteus, Al Éxito, and American Friends Service Committee to help immigrants and refugees
  • Primary Health Care - $20,000 to assist tenants at risk of losing housing and to provide health care services
  • Please Pass the Love - $5,000 to support outreach to youth on mental health topics
  • DMARC - $10,000 to increase Central Iowans’ access to food
  • Food Bank of Iowa - $10,000 to support food system efforts
  • Orchard Place - $10,000 to support staffing and technology for providing telehealth services
  • Dental Connections - $10,000 to provide emergency dental services 
  • YESS - $10,000 to provide emergency shelter services for children and youth
  • EveryStep - $10,000 to increase health assistance for pregnant mothers and families with young children

Mid-Iowa Health Foundation also is working with existing grantees to shift requirements and to ensure organizations have the operating support needed to carry out their missions. The Foundation is not distributing additional grants at this time, but welcomes the opportunity to listen to needs in the community and encourages nonprofits to share their COVID-19 related challenges here: www.211updates.org

“We are committed to working with our partners to make sure those who are most vulnerable have their basic needs met and maintain their well-being,” said Suzanne Mineck, President of the Foundation. “We will continue to learn from the organizations we’re supporting to inform the long-term system changes we need to invest in for all children to have equal opportunities to grow up healthy.”

In addition to its grants, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation continues to work with the 18 HealthConnect Fellows on system-level changes to improve children’s health. It also is supporting NAMI Greater Des Moines’ 8 Weeks of Inspiration Speaker Series and dsm Magazine’s Lifting the Veil series to elevate conversations about mental health. 

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