State awards $150M in grants to 650+ non-profits

(TDHS press release) Today the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) announced grant assistance has been awarded to 656 non-profit organizations across the state serving Tennessee communities.  These grants are all provided through the new Tennessee Community CARES Program.

TDHS along with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group created the program to invest $150 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to help with ongoing efforts to address health and economic needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tennessee Community CARES grants announced today range from $25,000 to as large as $2 million.  These dollars will fund a variety of activities, including support for individuals or families who’ve experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19, along with assistance for vulnerable populations, housing assistance, food relief, educational support for virtual learning activities, public health activities, and essential supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A complete list of organizations receiving grants is available here.

“The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group has worked tirelessly to identify the greatest areas of need for Tennesseans throughout this pandemic,” said Gov. Lee. “Supporting non-profit partners strengthens communities and ensures recovery is swift and effective and we look forward to working with these organizations.”

“Our state’s non-profit organizations have been serving a vital role providing communities with the wrap around support they need during this difficult time,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.  “These grants will help non-profits expand the work they’re already doing supporting families, vulnerable citizens, and business to ensure Tennessee can thrive once the pandemic is over.”

The Financial Stimulus Accountability Group is a bi-partisan group that has overseen the distribution of hundreds of millions of federal and state dollars to local governments.  Its members include Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Sen. Raumesh Akbari, Sen. Bo Watson, Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Pat Marsh, Comptroller Justin Wilson and Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley.

“Tennessee’s non-profit community has been on the frontlines of this pandemic from the beginning. Non-profits consistently amplify the state’s efforts in addressing Tennessee’s explicit needs during the COVID crisis. They are also critical in filling the gaps by caring for those who have been indirectly affected by the virus,” said Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “I am extremely grateful these funds are being deployed to bolster the community’s efforts to assist our people in this time of need.”

“Tennessee’s non-profits are vital business partners within our state that provide economic stimulus for our local communities. I am pleased to join with Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, Commissioner Barnes, as well as our members to provide additional support to these organizations and agencies during the pandemic through the Tennessee Community CARES Program,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville).  “Partnering with our non-profits will enable them to remain focused on their roles for the benefit of our state and our people. This is a strong message that we are all working together now, and we will continue to do so, after the pandemic subsides.”

These grants will be administered by partner non-profit organizations who will serve as grant administrators. They will handle outreach, marketing, reporting, and monitor spending of approved programs. Organizations serving as grant administrators include:

•     United Way of Greater Chattanooga

•     United Way of Greater Knoxville

•     United Way of Greater Nashville

•     United Way of the Mid-South

•     Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis

•     Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee

All grants will be required to follow the US Department of Treasury’s additional guidance on Coronavirus Relief Fund allowable expenditures. The US Department of Treasury is also regularly updating Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found on the Coronavirus Relief Fund  webpage.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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