Photo Credit: Marti Stone
Caption: The Belfast Soup Kitchen recently received a grant from UMC’s Rapid Response Fund

We are pleased to announce the latest round of grant awards from UMC’s new Rapid Response Fund (RRF), which provides stopgap support for local nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UMC’s Rapid Response Grants totaled $39,000 in April and May. The awards included:

·         $3,000 to the Belfast Soup Kitchen to support increased costs associated with COVID-19

·         $5,000 to MidCoast Recovery Coalition to assist newly released inmates needing shelter

·         $3,750 to New Hope for Women for emergency shelter for domestic violence victims

·         $5,000 to the Rockland Salvation Army to support the increased need for food services

·         $5,000 to Finding Our Voices for a domestic violence awareness mailing to Waldo County residents

·         $5,000 to AIO Food and Energy Assistance to support a new warehouse manager in coordinating the efforts of local pantries to meet increased food needs

·         $5,000 to Waldo Community Action Partners to improve web-based communications about available services

In addition to individual donors, local organizations partnering with UMC on the Rapid Response Fund include Bangor Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust (BHBT), and West Bay Rotary Club. West Bay Rotary called on the community to match its contribution of $10,000, to achieve a total donation to the fund of more than $20,000.

“We are pleased to partner with UMC and so many community members who are stepping forward to make a difference,” said Jack Frost, BHBT’s director of community giving. “The Rapid Response Fund is having a positive impact on the tremendous work so many nonprofits are doing at this time to help with basic needs.”

UMC continues to receive far more requests for this type of urgent funding than the current fund balance can support. When donations come in, 100 percent are put to use for RRF grants. RRF funding decisions and awards have a one-week or less turnaround time. Additional contributions from the community will help with emergency needs, such as:

•                     Food for local pantries experiencing an unprecedented surge in need

•                     Soup kitchens seeing more families needing hot meals for the first time

•                     Housing solutions for homeless families

•                     Help and housing for domestic violence victims

•                     Meal delivery service for home-bound and elderly folks

•                     Support for those in substance abuse recovery

UMC’s initial goal is to raise at least $100,000 to help with local pandemic-related needs. For more information and to contribute, please visit