United Way of Southern Kentucky announced Wednesday that a second round of grants from the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund will be distributed to organizations in the region.

The COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund was established in March and more than $395,000 has been contributed. Its first release of funding saw $26,000 allocated to aid food resources and $14,000 dedicated to aiding programs in rent, utility and emergency assistance.

The current set of grants focuses on three sets of needs, including food, personal protective equipment and bill assistance, totaling $43,812 split between organizations in five counties: Warren, Simpson, Hart, Logan and Edmonson.

Organizations receiving funding in Warren County include the Salvation Army of Bowling Green, Hope House, HOTEL INC and the Warren County Welfare Center, according to a news release. The Salvation Army received funds allocated to each area of need specified for this round of grants, including $2,500 for PPE, $10,000 to prevent a rise in homelessness and $2,500 for food services.

According to the release, in addition to the funds granted to the Salvation Army, HOTEL INC received funding in the amount of $6,500 for aiding low-income people with expenses and for PPE. The Warren County Welfare Center also received $1,000 in funding for PPE.

Hope House Public Relations Manager Casey Rice said the organization previously received funding for food programs. In the second round of grants, Hope House received $9,000 to aid its bill assistance program, allowing Hope House to help community members with past due rent and utilities specifically related to COVID-19.

“If someone lost their job or their hours because of COVID, we would be able to assist them with the funds that United Way gave us,” Rice said.

According to Elizabeth Newbould, the United Way’s director of marketing and communications, there are five areas of critical need in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic: food aid, preventing the spread of homelessness through aid with rent, utilities and other emergency expenses, education, mental health and alleviating other urgent areas of need as they arise.

“Food has been the No. 1 need, since day one, people being at home from work, kids being at home from school, having different schedules, people taking care of maybe elderly family members,” Newbould said.

United Way plans to continue rounds of grants in the near future, according to Newbould.

“We expect to continue to make grants in the coming weeks and months as the needs continue to increase so we’re looking in the future to hopefully aid education by providing technology, and then work to encourage mental health and then other needs as they arise,” Newbould said.

Newbould said the new set of grants was made possible by the Women’s Fund of South Central Kentucky.

Jennifer Wethington, executive director of the Community Foundation of Southcentral Kentucky, said the funding donated to United Way originates from the Women’s Fund annual impact grant. Wethington said the grant has given more than $735,000 over the past seven years. Wethington said the impact grant is composed of money from an endowment fund.

“We care about what’s going on in our community and then the people of our community,” Wethington said.

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