Providing a Lifeline of Support
The events of 2020 were unlike any other year. We saw a dark Mardi Gras season, faced national social unrest, experienced an unmatched storm season along the Gulf Coast and, most notably, endured a global pandemic.
On March 24, 2020—just a week after the shutdown—BCM announced its first round of community grants totaling $500,000 to Greater New Orleans Foundation, New Orleans Business Alliance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, and United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
“Every BCM Trustee knew action needed to be taken immediately,” said Frank Kelly, Chairman of BCM’s Board of Trustees. By supporting our local service and hospitality workers, as well as families in need of food, we hoped to provide a lifeline for many people in the New Orleans metro area.”
In May 2020, a second round of grants were given to United Way and Second Harvest totaling $400,000. The grant awarded to Second Harvest helped pay for the increased demand to get meals to families in need, especially seniors and children.
In July 2020, BCM announced a third round of emergency funding bringing the total to more than $1,600,000 awarded to 47 nonprofits who offered critical community support throughout the pandemic. All of the grants were implemented to directly impact the well-being of our community and, more specifically, people who needed a helping hand during this dire time.
This large-scale amount of pandemic emergency funding was a first for BCM, but our extraordinary response did not stop there. BCM partnered with the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) to fund an assessment conducted to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and substance abuse needs and services in the Greater New Orleans (GNO) area.
Participants included behavioral health providers and clients from the five-parish area we serve. The assessment also offered potential strategies and reforms to help address existing challenges, minimize future risk, and increase the resiliency of the behavioral health system in the Greater New Orleans community.