Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, formed by several organizations to help especially vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic, announced its first round of grants Monday, providing more than $2.6 million to 56 non-profit organizations across the Kansas City metro region.


Among the recipients are Community Services League and Fairmount Community Center, two of the 11 organizations that received a total of $493,300 to help with food insecurity.


The Response and Recovery Fund said it also awarded $520,000 for housing assistance (rent, mortgage and utilities), $580,000 for health care access and $1,072,500 to groups for a variety of critical human services. Fund leaders did not list specific award amounts for groups, as several may well receive additional grants in the future.


CSL has seen its food donation requests multiply over the past several weeks, at one time reporting a month’s worth of food supplies given in a week at the Independence main office on Noland Road. Fairmount Community Center assists homebound seniors, children and families in northwest Independence.


Leading groups that helped create the Response and Recovery Fund include: Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, United Way of Greater of Kansas City, LISC Greater Kansas City (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and the Mid-American Regional Council. Organizers said in late March they set an initial goal to raise $10 million, and the Hall Family Foundation and the Sunderland Foundation have partnered on a challenge grant to match donations to the fund up to $5 million.


CSL has 10 food handout sites around Eastern Jackson County, provides case management and housing services and partners with other organizations for personal hygiene kits and prescription assistance.


Other area organizations that received grants:


• Community LINC, which provides housing support for homeless people and those at-risk of homelessness in Jackson County.


• Hillcrest Ministries, which provides housing for at-risk families in Jackson and Clay counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.


• Lee’s Summit Social Services, which provides food, utility and rent assistance for those in need in Lee’s Summit, Greenwood, Lone Jack and Lake Lotawana.