Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has raised $48.8 million, including more than $5.7 million in in-kind donations, to support equitable relief and recovery efforts for the communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on immigrant communities and people of color,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As our city continues to the weather this crisis, we will keep finding innovative ways to increase resources and assistance for our most vulnerable neighbors and frontline workers.”
The Mayor’s Fund launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund in early March to support priority areas including: healthcare workers and essential staff; local small businesses; displaced hourly workers, including immigrant workers; and families, youth, and other vulnerable New Yorkers.
“As our city unites to build a future that is fairer and more equitable, it is essential that New Yorkers in the hardest-hit neighborhoods can access the resources they need to support themselves and their families,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Thank you to our generous partners who have answered the call to provide this critical relief for frontline workers and communities of color during this unprecedented crisis.”
The expansive fundraising efforts have included large-scale public-private partnerships, as well as a grassroots campaign that have together garnered 9,500 donors from all around the country.
Support for Frontline Workers
To ensure that New York City’s healthcare professionals and essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic stay nourished, supported, and protected, the Mayor’s Fund:
- Partnered with the Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross to launch NYC Healthcare Heroes. The program is providing more than 400,000 packages of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, and household cleaning and personal care products to staff at hospitals across the five boroughs. These deliveries alleviate the burden on workers who often do not have access to supplies or time to shop after working back-to-back shifts caring for COVID-19 patients in hospitals and facilities across the city.
- Developed and launched Food for Heroes, which will deliver 169,400 nutritious meals to healthcare professionals and EMS, morgue, and sanitation and other essential workers across New York City to fuel them during their shifts.
- Supported NYC Health + Hospitals with a $400,000 donation to purchase critical personal protective equipment. The donation was made possible through Peg’s Cure, an initiative created by Cedar Mills LLC in honor of Peg Broadbent, former CFO of Jeffries Group LLC who died due to complications from COVID-19.
Aid for Restaurants in Hardest-Hit Communities
To support the owners and employees of restaurants in neighborhoods that have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, the Mayor’s Fund:
- Collaborated with One Fair Wage, NYC Opportunity, and the Human Resources Administration to launch the Restaurant Revitalization Program. The program is providing short-term payroll support to an initial 100 restaurants committed to paying full minimum wage with tips on top, in addition to providing hardest-hit communities with approximately 53,000 meals over 6-12 weeks.
Services for Immigrant Communities
To support New York City’s immigrant communities, many of whom are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the Mayor’s Fund:
- Partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Open Society Foundations to create the Immigrant Emergency Relief Program. The program works with community-based organizations to provide direct, one-time emergency relief payments to up to 20,000 immigrant New York City families who are hardest hit financially by the crisis, yet excluded from the reach of the federal relief program.
- Launched the Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program with funding support from SOMOS Community Care, Trinity Church Wall Street, Amalgamated Bank, and Robin Hood. The program provides up to $1,700 toward burial expenses for immigrant families—regardless of legal status—who are unable to pay for the funeral expenses of relatives who died during the pandemic.
Supporting Youth in Hardest-Hit Communities with Summer Opportunities
To ensure that youth and families are safe and supported, the Mayor’s Fund:
- Raised $6.8 million in philanthropic support for SYEP Summer Bridge 2020, a public-private partnership that leverages an additional $40 million in public dollars to provide constructive engagement and enrichment activities to keep 35,000 New York City youth active and productive this summer.
- Partnered with the Mayor’s Office to Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and Sanctuary for Families to launch a pilot program to deliver micro-grants to survivors. The first-of-its-kind initiative helps mitigate safety, economic, and housing challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mayor’s Fund continues to pursue additional funds to launch and support programs and initiatives that meet the ever-changing needs of New Yorkers as the city continues to recover from the pandemic. Anyone can contribute at nyc.gov/fund.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
To help New Yorkers affected by COVID-19 in other ways and to find COVID-19 related assistance, visit Help Now.
For up-to-date guidance, case count, and information on prevention and symptoms, visit the New York City Health and Mental Hygiene's webpage.
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