Kentucky nonprofits in need of funding as pandemic wears on

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 3:08 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Leaders of nonprofits from across Kentucky asked for more federal funding Thursday morning.

The Kentucky Nonprofit Network hosted multiple agencies for the conversation.

The CEOs say more Kentuckians will suffer if nonprofits aren’t included in upcoming COVID-19 relief packages. Kentucky nonprofit leaders say if lawmakers delay federal funding, it will cause a ripple effect that will cause Kentuckians to suffer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass has made changes to its mentorship program because of the lack of funding.

CEO Andrea Ooten says the agency has reallocated funding to better meet the needs of the families it serves.

“Too many families depend on us, we as a nonprofit agency, depend on other nonprofit agencies to be successful so that they can help our families with things,” she said.

Instead of more big and little pairings and programming, the staff is sending referrals for assistance with paying bills and buying groceries.

Ooten says if one nonprofit fails, another one will do the same, and harm the families it serves, and the people it employs, too.

“We had to lay another staff member off, those are having impacts on people on a personal level, for our agency,” Ooten said. “It’s also going to impact the number of children that we’re able to serve this year and into the future because we’ll have to go into a rebuilding process.”

Ooten says because of the pandemic, families will continue to have greater needs for their services and other nonprofits, like God’s Pantry, that provides food assistance for those who are food insecure across all of Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Halligan said some locations see three times the number of people they normally serve on any given day.

“Legislation that still needs action is SNAP, or food stamps,” he said . “Increasing that benefit and raising the minimum benefit are two things that would be greatly helpful”

He said federal assistance from earlier in the year has been helpful, but the product is still expensive.

“The money comes in one side, it goes back out the other pretty quickly, so we continue to have needs,” he said.

For both, it all comes down to numbers, but behind the figures are people.

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