Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees & Healthy Greenville Grant Initiative Releases Grant Funds to Meet Urgent COVID-19 Needs

Staff Report From Greenville CEO

Monday, April 13th, 2020

Greenville Health Authority, by way of the Healthy Greenville Grant initiative, pledged $150,000 to three organizations in Greenville County in order to make an immediate impact on organizations that are seeking to provide health assistance for the county’s most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees Chair Phillip Liston, said, “The COVID-19 crisis has greatly impacted the world and communities in which we live and serve. The mission of Healthy Greenville is to help the citizens of Greenville County get healthcare when they need it – especially the underprivileged or underserved. We are just carrying out our mission.”

The funds released today do not impact the pending grant applications to Healthy Greenville for the FY20 grant cycle (major or micro grants). Those grants will still be considered and, if selected, funded in late July.

John Mansure, president of Greenville Health Authority, said, “These are unusual times, and critical needs exist now within the homeless, homebound and food-insecure communities. Time is of the essence, and that’s why the Board of Trustees chose to act now to help.”

At a special called meeting on Thursday, April 9, the GHA Board of Trustees voted unanimously to provide grant funds to the following:

Miracle Hill – COVID-19 Shelters for Homeless:  Up to $100,000 to help with the operating expenses of shelters (for men and women) being set up for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 (those expenses may include personal protection equipment; nursing assistance, extra staffing, etc.).

According to Ryan Duerk, Miracle Hill CEO, “For over 80 years Miracle Hill has been a friend to the homeless and hurting of the Upstate. In the midst of this crisis, it is our privilege and calling to continue that tradition by serving the COVID-19 positive homeless residents in Greenville County. We are grateful that Greenville Health Authority/Healthy Greenville has stepped up to support us during this time. Our strength as a community in crisis is in our willingness to work together for the common good of all citizens.”

Meals on Wheels of Greenville: Up to $25,000 to support COVID-19 work around access to healthy food. In the current climate, Meals on Wheels has ramped up their service to homebound and elderly residents. They rely 100% on community support for funding. According to their website, each meal costs $6-7 to prepare and deliver. The Healthy Greenville grant will supplement the work of Meals on Wheels during the crisis.

Catriona Carlisle, executive director of Meals on Wheels Greenville, said, “This is a time that none of us planned for or wanted. We are just getting through, helping those in need, and also planning for the future. We are very grateful for the help Healthy Greenville is providing.”

FoodShare of Greenville: Up to $25,000 to support COVID-19 work-around access to healthy food. FoodShare reaches a different underserved population than Meals on Wheels and provides food boxes to needy families in Greenville County.  Healthy Greenville will help fund the cost of the food boxes to those impacted by COVID-19 furloughs, layoffs or sickness during the crisis. Dan Wiedenbenner of FoodShare (Mill Village Farms) said the organization has already seen and substantial rise in the need for food.