The Arkansas Community Foundation (ACF)’s COVID-19 Relief Fund has been selected as the state’s official designated relief fund.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during a Sunday afternoon press conference that the state would be partnering with ACF on the relief fund and was endorsing it officially.
“The state of Arkansas is partnering with the Arkansas Community Foundation in supporting the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The Community Foundation has set this up…they have an incredible record of integrity, of proper use of benevolent funds. For that reason, we are happy to partner with them, and say this is the official designated fund that we would like Arkansans contribute to to help other Arkansans,” Hutchinson said.
The COVID-19 Relief Fund was first announced on March 18. According to ACF president and CEO Heather Larkin, the fund is used to impact the most vulnerable populations in the state who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic reprecussions.
“We at the ACF recognize that this is a challenging time for Arkansans, many of whom have precious few resources to give away. But we also know that we are a generous state, and people are seeking to help whenever and however they can,” Larkin said.
Larkin said that all of the COVID-19 Relief Fund’s donations will be directed to Arkansas nonprofits on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. These nonprofits can include healthcare nonprofits that require additional funding for safety equipment, organizations providing emergency childcare, food pantries providing mobile meal delivery for vulnerable populations, school systems attempting to remotely meet students’ needs, and more, according to the ACF’s website.
So far, approximately 175 grants have already been issued to nonprofits. ACF has a presence in all 75 Arkansas counties with 28 local offices.
“This is why we exist—to help communities. This fund is an efficient way to get quick relief funds to local nonprofits serving the people most affected by the pandemic. During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that we come together to respond to the needs of our state,” Larkin said in a previous statement.
During the press conference, Entergy Arkansas CEO Laura Landreaux announced that the company’s charitable arm would be donating $100,000 to the fund. More than $2 million has already been donated to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, Larkin said. Some of the donors include the Tyson Family Foundation, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
“We’re so grateful to these organizations and to so many individuals who have stepped up and are already making gifts. We hope that others who are in a position to give, will do so either through this fund or by reaching out to their favorite nonprofit that is doing important work at this time.”
Donations to the COVID-19 Fund can be made here.