In response to the economic downturn and the resulting increase in demand for basic needs, the foundation will award grants of up to $25,000 to nonprofits and public agencies in its 26-county funding region that provide emergency services, including food, clothing, shelter, and associated physical and mental health care. At least 30 percent of the funding will be awarded to groups serving residents in rural areas. The grants will be announced in February.
"With people in our region being turned away from shelters and food banks, we knew we had to respond," said Sierra Health Foundation president Chet Hewitt. "We can't resolve the level of need out there, but we will do our part to mitigate the challenges people — particularly families — are facing."