Project Title

COVID-19 Response and Relief Efforts

Grant Amount


Priority Area


Date Awarded

April 2020




In Progress

NYSHealth has committed $2 million in funding to support COVID-19 response and relief efforts throughout New York State. Grants will include contributions to numerous regional response funds, as well as support for statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic.

As part of its commitment, the Foundation will contribute to pooled response funds in regions throughout New York State that will provide coordinated and timely support to meet the emerging needs of local communities and organizations. In addition, NYSHealth will provide targeted grants that will, for example, ensure seamless access to WIC and SNAP benefits, expand telehealth capabilities, help New Yorkers enroll in health insurance coverage, deliver health care and services to immigrant New Yorkers, and provide targeted services to veterans in need.

Grants to Regional Response Funds

Targeted Response Grants

Expanding telehealth for small health care practices. With in-person visits limited, many health care providers are offering telehealth services. Many providers—especially smaller primary care practices with limited infrastructure—need assistance in understanding the guidance and rapidly scaling up their telehealth services. The Primary Care Development Corporation will support smaller practices across New York State to implement telehealth capabilities.

Improving food security. Food security is a critical issue for New York’s families. Community Food Advocates will help New York City make full use of new flexibilities for enrollment and administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) included in the Family First Coronavirus Response Act. Public Health Solutions, which administers the Neighborhood WIC Program in New York State, will seamlessly transition to a virtual model to ensure the uninterrupted provision of WIC benefits, including nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and WIC checks to purchase nutritious foods. The Westside Campaign Against Hunger will continue food pantry operations and meet growing demand for older adults in a safe environment for clients and staff. And Active Citizens Project/Project Eats will be sourcing produce from their farms across New York City to distribute produce boxes and prepared foods to the Brownsville community.

Helping New Yorkers enroll in health insurance coverage. New York State has opened a special enrollment period so that lack of coverage is not a deterrent to needed testing, treatment, and other care. The Community Service Society manages the largest navigator network across New York State, which will work to enroll New Yorkers in health insurance, including Medicaid.

Ensuring immigrants’ access to care. Federal policies, particularly the newly instated public charge rule, have erected many barriers to immigrants seeking health care during a public health emergency. The New York Immigration Coalition will provide support to very small immigrant-serving organizations that are providing front-line assistance to marginalized communities during the pandemic.

Meeting veterans’ needs. The need for services among New York’s veterans is increasing during the pandemic. The NYC Veterans Alliance serves as a centralized, go-to resource that will provide intake and assessment and connect veterans to health care, mental health, housing, legal, and other services. In addition, through its rapid response referral program, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will provide direct peer support, comprehensive care management, and resource connections (for food and other basic needs, assistance with medical bills, and mental health, employment, and housing services) to veterans across New York State. And the Headstrong Project, which provides free mental health services to veterans, has transitioned to a telehealth model. It will operate online peer support groups to address isolation and anxiety, run online AA veteran support groups, and provide online meditation and mindfulness resources.