SNF Continues Pandemic Relief Efforts with New Grants Totaling over $2.75 Million

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has announced a new round of grants in its $100 million global relief initiative to help alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This third round brings the total allocated to $61.5 million and places particular emphasis on supporting expert organizations working collaboratively to address challenges tied to the pandemic’s socioeconomic impact.

Twenty grants totaling more than $2.75 million, as part of the Foundation's 100 million global COVID-19 relief initiative, focus on helping avoid educational shortfalls for academically vulnerable students, supporting new and creative food distribution structures, offering psychological support and emergency relief to specially affected groups, and ensuring the future of smaller theaters and artistic residency programs.

“It’s now more important than ever that we stay the course in combatting COVID-19 and working to the best of our ability to alleviate its ongoing impact,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “Even as fatigue sets in with the limitations the pandemic has imposed, its effects are expanding and deepening around the globe. SNF is focused on collaborating with our grantee partners to implement the pandemic relief grants we’ve made so far and continuing our support in key areas. We’re deeply grateful to these organizations for the essential work they’re doing, and their commitment to being there for the long haul.”


Bridging Educational Gaps

While it feels like much of life is on hold, it’s not possible to hit pause on a young person’s education and development. Grants to educational organizations working in New York City and supporting teachers around the country cover gaps created by the pandemic to help ensure that every student has the opportunity to keep growing and learning even as the pandemic heightens existing educational inequalities.

  • DonorsChoose, United States: Doubling donations through the DonorsChoose platform to provide classroom essentials at schools where 75% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch 
  • Hostos Community College Foundation, New York: Providing emergency financial support to 200 students at Hostos Community College in the Bronx
  • Harlem Educational Activities Fund, New York: Providing academic and socioemotional support, as well as cultural enrichment, to students in sixth grade through college
  • Breakthrough New York, New York: Providing summer and afterschool tutoring to middle schoolers from low-income backgrounds
  • Harlem Academy, New York: Providing increased tuition assistance to families, preparing safe classrooms for the fall, and equipping students with laptops for remote learning

Innovative and Robust Systems for Food Access

Even before the pandemic hit, urban food systems were not sufficiently serving everyone, with strong disparities in access between communities, and food insecurity and strain on distribution systems have only increased. Grants support organizations in New York City and Baltimore taking innovative approaches to creating systems that address food insecurity in ways that benefit not only consumers, but also producers and vendors.

  • GrowNYC, New York: Connecting small-scale food producers to individual consumers through a variety of initiatives, including up to 60,000 free emergency food boxes from a cooperative of 22 farms in upstate New York, 50 Greenmarkets with 240 producers around the city, and more than a dozen youth-run Farmstands
  • Food With A Focus, Baltimore: Filling a gap in food availability on Baltimore’s west side, providing two weeks’ worth of fresh produce to thousands of families through staff redeployed from other nonprofits and volunteers at over 40 churches in the area
  • Street Vendor Project, New York: Putting small food vendor businesses to work to provide 6,400 free meals in Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Highbridge in the Bronx

Sustaining Smaller Arts Organizations

While a few big-name organizations tend to come to mind when we think of the arts sector, these exist only within a rich ecosystem of smaller organizations and individual artists. As the disruption caused to arts organizations stretches out and puts their futures at risk, grants will support small New York City theaters and arts nonprofits that host crucial residencies.

  • International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York: Supporting contemporary artists in their practice through Reimagining Residencies, a consortium of a dozen diverse arts nonprofits in New York City, including ISCP, which is stewarding the grant
  • Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, New York: Providing emergency relief grants to small theaters in New York City to support artists and maintain the creative pipeline

Protective Equipment for First Responders

A grant to the New York City Fire Department’s not-for-profit arm will help make sure those on the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic are properly equipped.

  • FDNY Foundation, New York: Providing personal protective equipment to first responders, including much-needed masks to help keep EMTs and paramedics safe on duty as they continue to serve on the front lines.


Grants to nonprofits in France, Italy, and Spain focus on programs tailored to the educational needs of particular groups, psychological support to vulnerable populations, and the essential needs that underlie both.


  • Αssociation Coup de Pouce: Reaching nearly 2,000 students with supplemental education through summer and afterschool clubs around France


  • Save the Children Italy: Offering summer classes, psychological support, workshops on educational activities parents can do with children, and food and other necessities to families and support to teachers and schools in adapting to new learning environments, through a program reaching over 100,000 young people total
  • Associazione Italiana Persone Down: Increasing capacity at inclusive day centers, delivering autonomy courses and tutoring, and assisting in the return to school for people with Down syndrome
  • SOLETERRE: Offering psychological support to over 500 frontline medical staff, patients, and families in Italy’s hard-hit north
  • Intersos: Providing shelter, psychosocial and socio-educational support, a healthcare clinic, and other essential services to more than 2,700 migrant women, children and young adults in Rome


  • Save the Children Spain: Offering summer classes, assistance in bridging the digital divide, a psychological support helpline, exercise activities, and more to over 2,000 families, 44% of which are single-parent families
  • Fundación Tomillo: Preparing up to 300 teenage students to transition to remote secondary vocational education through a five-week digital immersion bootcamp


A grant to a Spain-based nonprofit will help address needs in education, health, and food security in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico.

  • Ayuda en Acción: Supporting distance education and the transition to digital learning, providing food assistance, and implementing COVID-19 transmission reduction in 11 counties across Central and South America


A grant to a UK-based nonprofit will help support a wide variety of programs related to education and emergency relief in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and Nigeria.

  • Save the Children UK:

    Mali: Providing emergency food aid for vulnerable families

    Democratic Republic of the Congo: Installing hand-washing facilities and gender-divided restroom facilities in 14 educational centers, implementing COVID-19 transmission reduction efforts at schools, providing financial support to girls most at risk of dropping out of school

    Nigeria: Delivering distance education and offering guidance to parents on psychological support and homeschooling

    Uganda: Providing emergency cash assistance to high-need families, offering distance education resources

    Zambia: Training hundreds of volunteers to aid in math and literacy distance learning, supporting the Zambian Ministry of Education in distributing self-study materials nationally to children

    Kenya: Providing educational and play materials to refugee children

These new grants add to two previous rounds in SNF’s pandemic relief initiative that are already helping grantees deliver impact. CRESCER’s small social enterprise restaurant that employs people who have experienced homelessness. has distributed 400,000 meals on the streets of Lisbon since the start of the crisis. By employing women living with HIV as frontline health workers, mothers2mothers reached over a quarter of a million new clients in Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia with health services in the first quarter of the year. The Artist Relief initiative, to which SNF provided support through United States Artists, has so far made $5,000 emergency relief grants to 1,300 artists practicing in 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Other previously announced grantees include the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the San Antonio Food Bank, Bangor Region YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital, The Rockefeller University, the Robin Hood Foundation, the French Red Cross, Boroume, Fondazione Progetto Arca, and many others.


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