Lake County Community Foundation awards $555,000 in grants

The Northern Illinois Food Bank is one of the recipients of grant money from the Lake County Community Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Northern Illinois Food Bank)

The Lake County Community Foundation announced that $555,000 has been awarded in grants through the Lake County Community Crisis Relief Fund. Those funds support 16 nonprofit organizations working to serve Lake County’s most vulnerable neighbors as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Since late March when the permanent fund was established, more than $715,000 has been raised.

“Because of the clear and urgent demand,” said Maggie Morales, Executive Director of LCCF, “we are continuing to raise funds for assistance during this time and beyond.”

Through the Fund, LCCF has supported Lake County nonprofits addressing urgent and basic human needs such as hunger, shelter, mental health, rent/utility assistance, senior citizens services and more. Grants awarded to date through the fund are:

  • $75,000 to Twice As Nice Mother and Child in support of increasing the diaper, formula and wipe supply to meet Lake County’s severe shortage in the COVID crisis.
  • $60,000 to PADS Lake County in support of their staffing needs and to meet the increase in demand for emergency housing services.
  • $15,000 to Mano a Mano Family Resource Center to provide direct assistance to undocumented individuals and families who are left out of all state and federal COVID-19 relief programs.
  • $50,000 to Northern Illinois Food Bank in support of its work to respond to the increase in food insecurity throughout the county.
  • $60,000 to Nicasa Behavioral Health Services in support of its telehealth services as the organization shifts from in-person to virtual care to align with the shelter in place mandate and social distancing guidelines.
  • $50,000 to A Safe Place in support of its emergency shelter and care of low-income victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • $25,000 to Beacon Place in support of its Emergency Support Distribution Program, which provides food, basic needs, direct financial assistance and academic support to families, as well as funds for programming through 2020.
  • $5,000 to Community Action Partnership of Lake County in support of the purchase and donation of thousands of premade meals from a local airline food vendor to be distributed to Northern Illinois Food Bank food pantry agencies.
  • $50,000 to Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project in support of critical community outreach and education about COVID-19 and direct financial assistance to immigrant communities.
  • $20,000 to Highland Park Community Foundation in support of critical and urgent needs that HPCF identifies in the communities it serves — Highland Park and Highwood.
  • $50,000 to Roberti Community House in support of support the organization’s drastic increase in emergency food distribution to shelters, soup kitchens, individuals and families in need.
  • $5,000 to the Alliance for Human Services in support of the Alliance’s coordination of the CATCH Initiative (County Action to Counter Hunger), a countywide collaborative of nonprofits, civic groups, and other stakeholders working together to ensure that Lake County’s most vulnerable have access to food.
  • $20,000 to Antioch Area Healthcare Accessibility Alliance in support of the organization’s COVID response work in the Antioch/Grant Township area as staff provides community education, healthcare consultation via its Network Nurse program and serves as an important hyper local information and resource hub for the communities it serves.
  • $50,000 to Community Action Partnership of Lake County in support of making and delivering meals daily for one month to PADS Lake County clients currently sheltering in hotels throughout the county and A Safe Place’s clients at its Zion campus.
  • $10,000 to Curt’s Cafe in support of meal distribution to 150 families in the greater Waukegan area facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • $10,000 to ElderCare in support of the organization’s partnership with a local limousine company to provide rides to particularly vulnerable senior citizens in need of safe transportation to critical and essential doctor appointments during the COVID-19 crisis.

Funding decisions are informed and guided by a Crisis Response Team comprised of representatives of LCCF, Lake County Health Department, Lake County Community Development Division, Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County and community residents. Through the team’s diligent work in identifying the most critical needs in Lake County, the Crisis Relief Fund will continue to provide area nonprofit health and human service providers with quick and well-coordinated funding to agencies grappling with a sharp increase in demand for services in the wake of COVID. This permanent fund is a countywide resource now in the face of COVID-19, but will also be available for future community and countywide emergencies as well, allowing the Foundation to respond quickly to unanticipated community need.

Applications for grants are made by invitation only. Grants through this fund will support emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health care services, utility and financial assistance, supports for school children and other vulnerable populations, nonprofit safety and operations assistance and more.

“We anticipate many more grants to be awarded in the upcoming months,” said Morales.  “We are humbled by the outpouring of generosity and support during this time. It is an honor to partner with our community in this way.”

Community members and businesses can learn more or donate via credit card at, write a check payable to “The Lake County Community Foundation” and reference “The Lake County Community Crisis Relief Fund” in the memo line (Mail check to: 114 S. Genesee, Suite 505, Waukegan, IL 60085), or make a wire transfer or gift of stock by contacting Wendy Richter, Manager of Donor Services & Operations, at for the Foundation’s gift instructions.

The Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF), an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, brings together philanthropists and donors, dollars and ideas to build permanent funds to benefit Lake County, Illinois – today and for generations to come. Since 2003, LCCF has grown to nearly $15 million in assets, and has served as a catalyst for generosity and change; a connector of people and organizations; and as the permanent steward of charitable funds dedicated improving the lives of the most vulnerable residents of Lake County.

LCCF has awarded grants totaling over $6 million to nonprofit agencies serving the residents of Lake County and beyond. The organization provides leadership on key issues, insight on emerging trends and helps donors learn more about local needs to make their giving as effective as possible. Through collective philanthropy and by partnering with others, LCCF’s donors help make a greater impact together than any one organization can make alone. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.lakec