COVID-19 News Digest: April 2020

Here is this month’s selection of thought-provoking readings and resources that we’ve found useful for navigating the philanthropic response to the coronavirus pandemic:

California’s food banks grapple with ‘tsunami of need’ as pandemic grows | A powerful article by Maanvi Singhin in the Guardian, that paints a picture of the unprecedent growing need for food, and how local food banks are working hard to meet the demand.  “We are ramping up our purchasing, and we’re buying in bulk…right now what we need is money.” Michael Altfest, Director of Community Engagement at the Alameda County Food Bank.

Charity is off the charts amid the coronavirus. Is that a sign of America’s strength or weakness? | A thoughtful piece on the tensions around philanthropy during the pandemic by Laurence Darmiento in the LA Times “…like much else in a modern America preoccupied by inequality, the disaster has heightened tensions in an industry dependent on much of its funding from the wealthy.”

The East Bay Community Foundation’s (EBCF) A Just East Bay Response Fund released its grantee list this week | One of our trusted community partners, EBCF, has granted over $1M to date to frontline Alameda and Contra Costa County organizations through their response fund, prioritizing direct economic relief to families and general operating support to nonprofits actively supporting impacted, priority populations.

Violence’ against people of color increases COVID-19’s deadly toll | A Powerful op-ed in the Sacramento Bee by Dr. Tony Iton, Senior Vice President at the California Endowment. “COVID-19 is reminding us that in the United States, when it comes to your health, your zip code is more important than your genetic code.”

COVID-19 and the Crisis of Racial Capitalism | A short blog post by Sabeel Rahman, President of Demos, outlining 5 core problems deepening inequities for black and brown communities and how we can begin to address them together. “This is not just a pandemic crisis; it is a crisis rooted in our very system of racial capitalism and in the oligarchic inequities of American politics.”

Now Is A Great Time To Give: New Charitable Rules Incentivize Generosity During COVID-19 | A short and helpful article by Morgan Simon in Forbes, outlining how the CARES Act has incentivized individual giving. “There is now no limit to the deductions you can take for charitable contributions if you itemize (list out) your contributions.”