‘Project Innovation’ Grant Supports Non-Profit Programs Creating Positive Change in Local Communities

The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations division today announced $2.475 million in Project Innovation grants will be presented to 69 organizations in 11 markets that are using innovation to tackle everyday problems and urgent COVID-19 needs in their communities.

The non-profit organizations selected as Project Innovation 2020 grant recipients all exhibited flexibility with their programming and will use their funding to deliver services and programs that address the needs of those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

NBC and Telemundo owned stations located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and Hartford, have awarded up to $225,000 in Project Innovation grants to a maximum of eight non-profit organizations in their markets.

“This year’s grant winners are on the ground and know what our communities needs are. Our grant funding will help provide support to those who need it right now,” said Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

“Our grant program is set up to amplify the already great work that non-profits are doing to help their communities. We are certain that our 2020 Project Innovation grant winners will do all they can to support their neighbors, particularly during this very challenging time,” added Jessica Clancy, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, NBCUniversal.

Project Innovation applications opened on January 11 and closed on February 15. The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC/Telemundo owned stations reviewed applications virtually beginning March 2020. Applications were evaluated to determine groups’ ability to advance their communities in the areas of storytelling, community engagement, culture of inclusion and youth education, as well as their preparedness and capacity to deliver quality programming that meets the pressing needs that have developed in their communities during this unprecedented time.

Below is a market snapshot of the 2020 Project Innovation grant winners:

New York: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine

Through its “Food Rescue Program” the group leverages technology to rescue food and goods that would otherwise be wasted to feed individuals in underserved and low-income communities. Based in New York City, the organization is rescuing food from food establishments such as grocery stores, food manufacturers, and restaurants in New York and 16 cities across the nation affected by COVID-19, and delivering the food to those in need. The group plans to use its grant funding to continue this work, and launch more technology including a mobile app to increase food rescues to lessen the food needs in the communities it serves.

Los Angeles: KidWorks Community Development

KidWorks Community Development serves underserved children, at-risk youth and their families through its community centers located in the Orange County area of Santa Ana, California. In response to the coronavirus crisis, the organization leveraged its local partnerships and converted its pre-school centers into direct relief locations to provide food and critical health care needs to the communities it serves. The organization plans to use its grant funding to continue its work to provide some of its traditional programming online, including college prep classes for college-bound high school students.

Chicago: Neighborhood Food Pantries

The organization plans to use its grant funding to support its “Food Recovery Program,” which picks up fresh and nutritious food from local area grocers for distribution at their pantries. To meet the current food needs that exist in Chicago-area communities, the group is working with community partners to augment donations and expand their reach to help more families get access to healthy and fresh foods.

Philadelphia: Broad Street Ministry

Broad Street Ministry (BSM) has joined forces with Project Home, Prevention Point Philadelphia, and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services to launch the citywide hunger initiative, “Step Up to the Plate.” The program is serving 2,500 individuals who face food insecurity and homelessness each day. The organization plans to use its Project Innovation grant funding to continue providing outdoor food service through various hubs throughout the city, and help individuals get access to coronavirus screening and testing, and housing for those who test positive for COVID-19. The grant funding will also be used towards BSM’s Hospitality Collaborative programming that has continued to provide mail, benefits access, housing support, and case management throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Dallas/Fort Worth: Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE)

Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE) will use grant funding to meet the hunger gap in the community through its “Feed Our Kids and GRACE Grocery Giveaway” mobile food pantry program, an innovative grassroots collaboration between GRACE Food Pantry, Tarrant Area Food Bank, community restaurants and GRACE volunteers.

Washington, D.C.: Tenants and Workers United / Inquilinos y Trabajadores Unidos

The group plans to use its grant funding to continue its youth empowerment services remotely, create an emergency fund to support individuals who cannot pay rent because they have been affected by COVID-19, and increase their advocacy efforts for individuals who are facing evictions proceedings by petitioning state and local lawmakers in Virginia to protect tenants’ rights.

San Francisco Bay Area: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties provides healthy meals to individuals in need. The group also helps to enroll individuals in food assistance programs.  The organization will use its grant funding to continue their work.

Boston: Our Neighbors’ Table

Our Neighbors’ Table delivers personalized food assistance to individuals and families in northeastern Essex County, MA. To respond to the food insecurity needs that exist in the communities the group serves, the organization adjusted its program and is now offering online grocery ordering and curbside pick-up. The group plans to use its grant funds to continue their COVID-19 response efforts.

Miami/Fort Lauderdale: Branches

Branches provides life-changing opportunities to working families and their children to break the cycle of generational poverty through programs that help children achieve academic success, create opportunities to attain financial wellness, and support individual and family efforts to prosper through financial education and coaching. The organization has adapted its programs to continue serving students virtually through its YouTube channel and on social media. The group is also hosting remote meetings to help families with tax prep and government assistance issues. In addition, the group is providing ‘grab and go’ hot meals and offering emergency rent support to those affected by the coronavirus crisis.

San Diego: Coastal Roots Farm

Coastal Roots Farm is a community farm and education center that practices organic, sustainable farming, shares their harvest with those who lack access to healthy food, and offers unique programs and events that are open to all. To meet the needs of individuals impacted by COVID-19, the group is providing fresh food and food assistance to the community through deliveries and working with local food banks to deliver food. Coastal Roots Farm will use its grant to continue helping individuals impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Hartford: MCEIVR, Inc.

McEivr will dedicate the grant funding to support their “Innovation and Beyond:3D Printing for the New-Collar Workforce” program which gives individuals access to new job opportunities. In response to the coronavirus crisis and shortage for personal protective equipment for health care workers, McEiver launched a community project to manufacture face shields and other personal protective equipment. The group is also hosting virtual meetups and providing online classes and workshops to help individuals get prepare for job opportunities.

To access the full list of award winners, click here.

Read more: https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/nbcuniversal-foundation-project-innovation-grant-program-non-profit-programs

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