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December 30, 2020


Contact: Natalie Parscher // 614-251-4000 x 124

The Columbus Foundation Announces $1.5 million in Funding to Address Housing Instability and Food Insecurity

IMPACT Community Action and Mid-Ohio Food Collective to receive grants

Columbus, OH (December 30, 2020)— As persistent unemployment and economic troubles continue to challenge the central Ohio region during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Columbus Foundation is making substantial grants to organizations helping to stave off eviction, foreclosure, and hunger.

On Wednesday, the Foundation announced a $500,000 grant to IMPACT Community Action (IMPACT) to support housing and utility assistance to Franklin County residents facing eviction and foreclosure. It also announced a $1 million investment in the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to support the organizations comprehensive campaign priorities and build capacity for its operations.

IMPACT Community Action

Funding for IMPACT will support the HOPE Fund, which helps to keep Franklin County families in their homes by providing rental and mortgage assistance. This year, the federal CARES Act provided much of the funding for the organizations work. However, with that spending tied to a December 30, 2020 deadline, the need for continued support in 2021 is clear. 

“Our community rallied together to prevent over 5,000 families from being evicted during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bo Chilton, CEO of IMPACT. “We need to continue fighting the good fight in 2021 as we keep people safe in their homes and begin the long road to recovery. IMPACT Community Action thanks the generous donors who continue to provide HOPE!”

Funding for the grant comes from the Gifts of Kindness Fund, which supports individuals and families in need in Franklin County through one-time grants administered through 30+ social service nonprofit partners. Seeing the immediate need to support struggling families in the region, this fall, an anonymous Foundation donor created a $2.5 million match for the fund. To date, more than $2.4 million has been raised to meet the match, which continues until all matching funds are exhausted.

Dr. Amy Acton, who oversees the Foundation’s work in kindness, including the Gifts of Kindness program, sees this generosity as instrumental to the health of the community as it manages the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

We know the road ahead is going to be long and hard, but we want the community to know that we understand the challenges we are facing, and we are in this together,” said Acton. When it seems like the days are at their darkest, it is so encouraging to see donors rallying around their fellow neighbors to get us to the other side of these difficult times.”

Mid-Ohio Food Collective

The $1 million grant, payable over five years, to Mid-Ohio Food Collective will support capital improvements and direct service activities serving Franklin County through the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. This year, the organization has seen large increases in the number of residents seeking its services. Nearly 30% of those served by the Mid-Ohio Food Collective are new families who had never before sought assistance from food pantries. In 2020, the organization has seen more than 34,000 first-time customers in Franklin County alone.

We are incredibly grateful for our longstanding partnership with The Columbus Foundation in helping us to meet the hunger challenges in our community,” said Matt Habash, President and CEO of Mid-Ohio Food Collective. This generous gift to the Mid-Ohio Food Collectives comprehensive campaign will advance many of the innovations we are making to serve our neighbors through our evolving Mid-Ohio Markets, Mid-Ohio Farm on the Hilltop, and our data and insight platforms. Thanks to partners like The Columbus Foundation who share our passion in ending hunger, together, we can build hunger-free healthier communities,” said Habash.

While the final organizational grants of the year address some of the most acute needs in the community, the Foundation recognizes the ongoing nature of these and other pressing issues and is preparing for additional major funding initiatives in 2021.

Though 2020 is coming to a close, we know the challenges our community faces wont go away with the turn of a calendar page. The Foundation is committed to supporting our community now, tomorrow, and for generations to come.”


About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation serves nearly 3,000 individuals, families, and businesses that have created unique funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. The Columbus Foundation is Your Trusted Philanthropic Advisor® and one of the top 10 largest community foundations in the United States.