Kern Community Foundation has awarded grants to nine charities, using a $100,000 donation from Kern Health Systems, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.

“Over the past eight weeks, Kern Community Foundation has received 140 applications requesting $1.8 million from local nonprofits that are experiencing negative financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the demand for many of their services increasing significantly,” President and CEO Kristen Beall Watson said in a news release. “We are always proud of how our community comes together to meet the essential needs of our neighbors during challenging times like these, and we applaud Kern Health Systems for their generous gift to recharge our fund so that our grant-making work can continue.”

Grant recipients include Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative, Bakersfield Senior Center, Bakersfield Homeless Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, California Farmworker Foundation, Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank, The Mission at Kern County and Wounded Heroes Fund.

“Improving the health of our members requires community collaboration to address their physical, behavioral and social needs, especially during unprecedented times like these,” Kern Health Systems Chief Executive Officer Douglas Hayward said in the release. “We must do our part to support local nonprofits that are working hard every day to serve the vulnerable and underserved in our community and we are honored to partner with Kern Community Foundation to do so.”

The foundation said nearly $400,000 has been granted to support local efforts through the COVID-19 relief fund, the majority going to organizations providing basic items like food, shelter and safety.

Grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $30,000.

More information can be found at kernfoundation.org.

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