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Sam L. Cohen Foundation Commits $1 Million to Support COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Cumberland and York Counties

(Portland, Maine) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sam L. Cohen Foundation committed $1 million in 2020 to provide support to organizations and projects directly responding to populations most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The Foundation’s grants were targeted to nonprofits that serve southern Maine’s most vulnerable and affected citizens.

The Board of Directors of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation designated these funds to COVID-19 response and recovery in keeping with the Foundation’s mission to ensure that all people have the opportunity to develop their potential and provide healthy productive futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

“The Sam L. Cohen Foundation board and staff are honored to support the tremendous work of our nonprofit partners in Cumberland and York counties as they provide emergency services such as food, shelter, health and mental health services, and financial assistance to our most vulnerable citizens. We are grateful for their leadership and dedicated service, especially considering the challenging conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeffrey Nathanson, president of the board of the foundation.

The Foundation distributed emergency funds of $520,000 awarded in two rounds to 31 nonprofits and community-relief funds that provide:

  • Programs for low income individuals and those experiencing homelessness, $120,000
  • Health care, mental health, elder care, $100,000
  • Food programs, $180,000
  • COVID-19 Community Reliefs Funds in Cumberland and York counties, $50,000

In addition, the Foundation made direct grants to smaller community-based organizations to ensure continuity of programming. The grants range from $2,500 to $5,000.

The balance of funds were allocated towards the Foundation’s Fall 2020 Responsive Grants cycle to provide a more robust response to both urgent and ongoing supports as a result of COVID-19. Sam L. Cohen Foundation’s nonprofit partners are varied in type, size, and scope, yet share a collective commitment to supporting the underserved, disadvantaged, and those who do not have the resources to provide opportunities for themselves. “As the community works together to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we will continue to look for ways to help respond to the evolving needs,” said John Shoos, executive director of the foundation.