Baltimore (September 27, 2017) – In response to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, has announced emergency grant funding to support relief efforts in Florida.
The Weinberg Foundation has approved an immediate response of $500,000 in emergency funding to five organizations supporting the Hurricane Irma relief effort in Florida. The Foundation prioritized aid to areas with the most severe damage resulting from the hurricane and the largest populations of vulnerable older adults.
“It is especially heartbreaking that older adults throughout the state of Florida have suffered the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irma,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “This is an especially vulnerable population. Our goal is to help as many people as possible—as quickly as possible—through nonprofit organizations that are on the frontline of the recovery effort, providing basic needs such as food, water, and housing.”
After speaking to a number of organizations providing disaster relief in response to Hurricane Irma, the Weinberg Foundation has approved emergency grant funding totaling $500,000 to support five organizations throughout Florida with an emphasis on Monroe, Miami-Dade, Duval, Collier, Palm Beach, and Broward counties:
- Senior Resources Alliance (SRA) ($150,000): To distribute relief funds to meet the immediate needs of older adults in areas most affected by the hurricane. The SRA, located in East-Central Florida, is one of 11 Area Agencies on Aging, which provide a range of services including mobility assistance programs, assistance in gaining access to services, individual counseling, support groups, caregiver training, respite, and emergency/relief services.
- Feeding South Florida (FSF) ($100,000): To provide emergency food, water, supplies, and repairs throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. FSF serves 25 percent of all people served by food banks in the state of Florida, and it is the only food bank that services the Florida Keys. With 360 agency partners and a capacity to annually distribute 40 million pounds of food as well as serve 130,000 older adults in its regular program, FSF is well-positioned to offer support during this emergency.
- Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEF) ($100,000): To provide emergency food, water, supplies, and repairs throughout Duval County, which includes Jacksonville, and seven other surrounding counties. With more than 180 partner agencies, this food bank distributes over 13 million meals annually. FNEF ensured that its partner agencies were fully stocked before the storm, and it must now work to replenish those stocks.
- Goodman Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Broward County ($75,000): To provide crisis case management, including counseling and financial assistance to low-income older adults for home repairs and other needs related to the hurricane. Located in Plantation, Florida, and serving Ft. Lauderdale and greater Broward County, this social service program provides counseling services, and emergency and ongoing assistance, to thousands of individuals including 950 Holocaust survivors and up to an additional 400 seniors.
- Jewish Community Services (JCS) of South Florida ($75,000): To provide crisis case management, including counseling and financial assistance to low-income older adults for home repairs and other needs related to the hurricane. Located in North Miami, JCS of South Florida has been delivering support services for children, adults, families, and seniors since 1920. More than half of its nearly $18M budget is dedicated to serving older adults, with 44 percent of that spent on aid for Holocaust survivors last year.
At the beginning of September, the Weinberg Foundation approved $500,000 in emergency funding to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The Foundation’s support of victims of other natural disasters and emergencies includes relief grants for $1 million each in the wake of hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012, as well as $250,000 in emergency funding for humanitarian efforts following the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The Foundation has also supported Israel in times of crisis, including $500,000 in emergency relief during the 2012 missile attacks in Israel; and $700,000 for services supporting those affected by the Gaza conflict in 2014. In addition, the Foundation provided $400,000 in emergency grants following the unrest in Baltimore City in 2015.