Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield

The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield has allocated $48,000 in grants to 21 projects that seek to bridge social and political divides in the wake of the presidential election.

PITTSFIELD — Local groups in the Berkshires will receive more than $350,000 to help people cope with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The state said Wednesday that the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation will channel the funding to relief programs that offer food, childcare and help with housing and utilities. In all, the state is providing $10 million to 14 community foundations in a special COVID-19 relief effort.

Jennifer Maddox, the state’s undersecretary of housing and community development, said that at the grassroots level, the money is meant to protect people from hardship by helping to keep them in their homes, provide food and extend support to people working remotely, including those caring for children.

The allocation to the local foundation of $355,205 is earmarked for food security, hygiene supplies, support to buy medications, housing costs and utilities. The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation will regrant the money to community groups that work to provide the kinds of support backed by the program, the state said.

“As Massachusetts experiences a second COVID-19 surge, there are so many people suffering and in need of help,” Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said in a press statement.

The $10 million for the community foundation grants was included in a supplemental state budget. The program is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The new money comes on top of earlier allocations that sought to provide support for people most affected by the pandemic-induced economic slowdown.

Last month, the Baker administration unveiled an economic stimulus program it calls Partnerships for Recovery, a $774 million effort. 

In May, a Food Security Infrastructure Grant Program was rolled out by the Baker administration. That effort has so far given out more than $17 million in four rounds of grants.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

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Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.