The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is activating another $1 million in emergency hunger relief grants, bringing the total amount of three large-scale Foundation grants to battle hunger during the pandemic to $3.25 million.
One year ago, the pandemic’s effect on food insecurity was just beginning. Community organizations were seeing a rapid rise in demand and many families who had never relied on hunger relief before began lining up for food. Recognizing the need, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation stepped up with its first round of emergency hunger grants in mid-March 2020 to help support those on the frontlines of hunger relief. The Foundation announced an additional $1 million in September 2020, and today’s announcement of $1 million demonstrates its continued commitment to supporting families around the country who are facing hunger, especially in underserved communities.
Hunger and food security remain dire issues for families across the United States a year into the COVID-19 crisis. Due to the pandemic, more than 54 million people may experience food insecurity, including a potential 18 million children, according to Feeding America. Because of that, food banks around the country are struggling to keep up with the immediate need. A recent survey by Feeding America found more than 80 percent of food banks in its network are serving more people during the pandemic than before. While the increased demand has become a “new normal” for them, food banks are in serious need of food and resources.
“In March 2020, when the Foundation announced its first emergency relief grants, we didn’t know how wide the impact of the pandemic would be or how long the crisis would last. We did know the need was growing exponentially, so we acted fast to get funds in the hands of those who could make a difference,” said Kari McHugh, Executive Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. “One year later, we know the vast need is ongoing. Communities need continued support, just as much now as they did at the beginning of the crisis.”
The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation will process grant applications for this new round of funding on a rolling basis, beginning today, March 16, and donations will be made immediately upon approval. Nonprofits are invited to apply for a grant at https://www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/2021-hunger-relief-grants/.
Along with providing a total of $3.25 million in emergency grants for health and hunger organizations during the pandemic, Dunkin’, the Foundation, and Dunkin’ franchisees have also delivered more than one hundred thousand cups of free coffee and donuts to more than 300 hospitals and emergency sites across the U.S. In addition, the Foundation introduced the Hero Recharge program, a first-of-its-kind outdoor adventure program designed to help nurses and other healthcare professionals cope with significant traumatic stress resulting from being on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.