NEW YORK, March 2 – To alleviate rising hunger and other urgent social needs, the Board of Directors of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund announced today an emergency safety net initiative, to which it will contribute a total of $3.8 million.
The first grant, of $680,000, will go to the seven social service agencies that receive funds from the annual Neediest Cases Fund campaign. The recently concluded 2008-9 campaign raised approximately $6.9 million, a decline of 9 percent compared to last year’s campaign. The new grant will insure that the agencies receive approximately the same amounts as last year.
The other grants will go to New York metropolitan area organizations that feed the hungry, employ disconnected teenagers, provide legal services to the poor and support stressed family caregivers of traumatized veterans.
“The present economic turmoil falls with special harshness on the most distressed families and individuals, just those that the Neediest Cases Fund has supported for 98 years,” said Lynn Dolnick, who chairs the Neediest Cases Fund board.
“With state and city funds shrinking, the social safety net is being severely strained. Even with federal help on the horizon, many people are hungry today. We mean for these grants to provide immediate relief, and we hope other donors will join us in this effort.”
The safety net initiative, she said, parallels $7 million in new grants for similar purposes announced by the New York Community Trust in February.
The funds for the initiative will be drawn from the Neediest Cases Fund endowment.
Final figures for the 2008-9 Neediest campaign show the total number of donors down by 5 percent but an increase of 8 percent in donors who made their contributions online via NYCharities.org.
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