Safety Net Fund Awards $387,929 in Emergency Funding

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JACKSONVILLE, Florida, December 6, 2010 —  Thirteen Jacksonville nonprofits will receive a total of $387,929 in grants from the Community Safety Net Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville to help provide food and assistance with rent and utility expenses for area residents in need.

The grants represent the second and final round of funding for the year from the Community Safety Net Fund, which was established at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and other community donors.

“We are honored to be able to support these organizations,” said Kathleen Shaw, program director at The Community Foundation. “But more importantly, we are honored to be able to help the people that they serve — our neighbors in need.”

With these grants, the Community Safety Net Fund has invested $1,066,499 to support organizations providing basic services — food, shelter and rent and utility assistance —  to individuals and families in need in Duval County. In addition, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund provided another $319,000 in grants directly to four organizations.

The Community Safety Net Fund was created in late 2008, when the Jessie Ball duPont Fund invested $1 million to establish the fund and The Community Foundation, the City of Jacksonville and other donors invested another $600,000 to alleviate the soaring demand for food and shelter due to the recession. By spring 2009, all contributed funds had been distributed through grants to organizations serving the needy in Jacksonville.

By spring 2010, it became apparent that the impact of the recession had not abated. The number of people using food stamps was at an all-time high for Duval County and shelters and food pantries reported continuing record levels of demand. In response, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund invested $500,000 to reopen the fund, and The Community Foundation raised an additional $576,500 from other donors.

Private foundations making major gifts to the fund in 2010  included: The Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust, the Henry and Lucy Gooding Endowment, the Weaver Family Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the David Stein Charitable Trust. Corporate donors included Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation and Bank of America. And the City of Jacksonville contributed $100,000 to the fund.

“The level of need in our community is of great concern,” said Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “Our economy is not recovering as fast as we had hoped, and unemployment remains high. We are obligated to help those in immediate need just as we are obligated to look for long-term solutions to our economic challenges.”

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $265 million and has awarded $291 million in grants since 1977.

The Community Foundation in Jacksonville works to stimulate philanthropy in order to build a better community. The oldest community foundation in Florida, it has assets of $142 million.

Contact:

Sherry Magill, president
Jessie Ball duPont Fund
904-353-0890 / smagill@dupontfund.org
Nina Waters, president
The Community Foundation in Jacksonville
904-356-4483 / nwaters@jaxcf.org
Mary Kress Littlepage, KBT & Associates
904-384-8496 / mekl@comcast.net