Funded ProjectsAiding COVID-19 Recovery in the Gunnison Valley

January 21, 2021

Early on in the pandemic as COVID-19 reached Colorado residents, the Gunnison Valley faced one of the highest rates of cases per capita in the entire country. To help distribute resources quickly and efficiently while making the greatest immediate impact in the area, the Community Foundation of Gunnison Valley created a COVID-19 recovery fund. By April 3, 2020, CFGV had already distributed more than $25,000 in funding for vital resources, such as face masks for front-line medical staff and volunteers, support for domestic violence victims, food for people in need, remote mental health services for at-risk youth, and more.

“We are working closely with compassionate individuals, the Emergency Management team, nonprofits, and government agencies to connect resources with needs,” the CFGV website states.

One of the grant recipients, the Mountain Roots Food Project, used funding to support their initiatives to improve food security for area families. Their Neighborhood Fresh Markets, pictured, fed an average of 300 people per week for 22 weeks throughout the summer.

To date, the fund has provided nearly $260,000 in relief to Gunnison Valley residents and businesses, with 35 grants distributed to 25 local organizations. Throughout the pandemic, funding has helped provide assistance for rent, utilities, and other basic needs, mental health support, food assistance, paid sick leave for childcare workers, and more.

“The pain and suffering caused by the pandemic in 2020 has been appalling,” CMF President Kendall Mikesell said. “The Community Foundation’s efforts to help in the Valley’s recovery are both admirable and essential.”

Much of Chris’ life was spent in the Gunnison Valley, and the Foundation has supported initiatives in the area in his memory. In 2020, the Chris Mikesell Foundation awarded it’s largest grant of the year – $8,000 – to CFGV to support the local COVID-19 response.

“Thank you for doing so much good in the Gunnison Valley, Clearwater, and beyond in Chris’ name,” CFGV Executive Director Laura Kugler wrote in a thank you note. “His humble, caring, and generous nature will live on long after all of us, thanks to you.”

To learn more about the Community Foundation of Gunnison Valley and their important work in strengthening and enriching the community, visit their website.

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