Callaway County United Way issues first COVID-19 grants
FULTON - The Callaway County United Way (CCUW) has distributed its first round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund.
Six agencies received grants from the fund, which began taking donations in March at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, it’s raised $4,000 for six social service agencies, including the Callaway Senior Center, Callaway County Extended Employment, CARDV, Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, and SERVE Inc.
These funds will help various social agencies throughout the county cater to community needs. Grants will only be given to the 12 agencies funded by CCUW.
Callaway County United Way executive director Megan Prenger said that the pandemic has only increased the struggles that some agencies were already facing.
“Even before COVID happened, people were needing help," she said. "That just drastically brightened and that big hype isn’t gonna go away quickly.”
The first $4,000 raised through the fund was allocated for immediate needs, and agencies that requested it now have access to that funding.
“We were really specific about what we wanted them to use it for,” Prenger said. “It was mainly funding for services like food or stuff like that.”
She said utility assistance was also a common request from agencies.
Prenger explained that much more will be needed down the road, which is why the fund isn’t set to expire anytime soon.
“We didn’t want to put a deadline to that fund, because we knew there would be some long-term needs that would come across,” she said.
The CCUW response has slightly differed from that of other United Ways because they operate on a much smaller scale.
“Some of our businesses and a lot of our donors were also hurting, so it was really hard for them to donate at first,” she said.
CCUW’s Response Fund is still accepting donations, which will be allocated to the long term-needs of the community following the COVID-19 outbreak.