Since May 2020, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has awarded 100 grants to organizations, offering support to those serving the especially vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of $242,000 was given to groups in all 10 counties of the Archdiocese, including the Riverwest Food Pantry, Open Door Cafe and Casa Guadalupe.
Last May, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee created the Coronavirus Emergency Fund to help alleviate the financial hardship caused by the outbreak, inviting Catholic and Catholic-connected ministries serving those in need who have been negatively affected by the pandemic to apply for small grants. Funds were raised through email communication to parishioners and donors of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
The Riverwest Food Pantry was awarded funding to provide Thanksgiving meals to their neighborhood families. Typically, Thanksgiving dinner is served in person, and the pantry collects non-perishable food items, turkeys and produce.. This year, to keep the community safe, Riverwest Food Pantry is collecting donations to provide food gift cards to families. A $1,000 grant from the Coronavirus Emergency Fund will help support their commendable efforts. Learn more.
The Open Door Café is a meal program at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee that provides a hot, nourishing mid-day lunch for men, women, and children in need or crisis. Hygiene Kits, warm weather essentials, socks, underwear, and coats (when available) are also provided to guests. Pre-Covid, guests had weekly opportunities to receive assistance with Food Share benefits, housing, basic healthcare and other outreach concerns and services. During the pandemic, the Open Door Café has continued to adapt, meeting the needs of many by making and handing out bag lunches. They were awarded a $4,000 grant from the Coronavirus Emergency Fund to purchase necessary food items and supplies needed to continue serving families in need. Learn more.
The Casa Guadalupe Education Center in West Bend has seen the COVID-19 particularly impacted many of their Latino clients. Those who worked in the restaurant industry as servers and relied on tips have been without work. Others who work in manufacturing have seen periods of furlough, and job elimination. Some clients were not eligible to receive economic stimulus relief, making those families even more vulnerable to financial instability and hardship. Since the onset of the pandemic, Casa Guadalupe has received an increased number of calls and messages from clients who are concerned about affording basic needs like food, rent and electricity. Casa Guadalupe was awarded a $2,000 grant from the Coronavirus Emergency Fund to provide emergency funding assistance for families, and to purchase grocery store gift cards to help those with food insecurity. Learn more.