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Lancaster Cares COVID-19 Response Fund

Lancaster Cares is designed to provide essential support for Lancaster’s Families during the COVID-19 Crisis.  A response from the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the United Way of Lancaster County, this fund will support Lancaster residents with food, housing, and rapid response dollars to address emerging issues.

How does it work?

Money from this fund will be granted to trusted local community benefit (nonprofit) organizations to help them expand their capacity to reach more people more quickly.  Key partners to deliver services to Lancaster residents that need support include:

  • Food Security. As the core provider to most food distribution organizations in the region, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank can maximize an infusion of cash to make the largest regional impact.  The Food Bank is well-positioned through existing partnerships with community benefit organizations to support food needs throughout the entire county. 
  • Housing Support. Keeping people in their homes is of utmost importance. Although the Federal government, the State, and the County are taking measures to stall foreclosures and evictions, we know there will be housing needs to be addressed. Lanc Co MyHome and its collaborative are effective partners in providing assistance to families facing eviction or foreclosure, in addition to being a resource for the currently homeless population.
  • Emerging community needs.  Applications are now open to nonprofit 501c3 organizations helping to serve critical needs of residents across Lancaster County. These funds are designed to act as “Rapid Response Dollars” and available to programs that can quickly and efficiently turn dollars into resources that support residents across Lancaster County affected by the pandemic. Grants from $1,000 – $10,0000 will be awarded weekly. The application will be open on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future.

Can individuals get money?

With schools and many businesses closed, we understand that increasing numbers of people will need support, many of whom have never had to seek help in the past. People looking for support can begin by visiting 2-1-1, or accessing a wide range of help through the Tabor Community Services / Lancaster Housing and Opportunity Partnership Resource Guide. The United Way of Lancaster County has also created a map with locations providing immediate food assistance, view it here.

Our nonprofit partners are the best positioned to help individuals get the help they need most quickly and we will not be making grants to individuals. Through the Lancaster Cares fund, we will work with organizations that will be able to help the most people in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.

How can I participate? is the official donation website for Lancaster Cares. People have two ways to participate:

    • Make a donation. Individuals, families, and businesses are giving what they can to support neighbors and families.
    • Be a Fundraiser. Many are not in a position to donate right now but can still support Lancaster Cares. Individuals can use their social media network to spread the word about Lancaster Cares and encourage others to donate. Your endorsement is priceless. 

100% of every gift will go directly to organizations that are supporting families affected by COVID-19. Credit card fees will be covered by Lancaster County Community Foundation. Technology fees have been waived by our technology partner, GiveGab.

The Lancaster County Community Foundation has contributed $250,000 as a lead gift. Many other individuals, families, and businesses are contributing what they can to support and strengthen families across Lancaster County.

Gifts will channel to the Community Foundation and be distributed to partner organizations in collaboration with the United Way. All donations are tax deductible.

Who else is involved? 

The Lancaster Cares Steering Group will serve as a cohesive and collaborative entity that will provide insights, expertise, and ensure the needs of all Lancastrians are considered in funding decisions. They will also provide ongoing monitoring of community conditions to continuously direct resources to the most critical areas of need.

Member organizations include: