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Cedars-Sinai Giving More Than $2M to Help Those Affected by COVID-19

Even in the best of times, hundreds of thousands of Angelenos struggle to pay rent, put dinner on the table and take care of their health needs. Now, with COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreading across the Los Angeles region, Cedars-Sinai is stepping up assistance for populations that are vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the virus.

Cedars-Sinai is contributing more than $2 million to programs that provide housing, food assistance and access to healthcare for those in need during this challenging time. The immediate funding infusion comes on top of the $15 million Cedars-Sinai committed last year to support safety-net organizations and the communities they serve.

"In this time of crisis, while our doctors, nurses and healthcare partners work around the clock to care for our patients, we are also reaching out to the surrounding Los Angeles community to help alleviate suffering among our most vulnerable," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai.

Cedars-Sinai is giving $850,000 in grants to support housing stability organizations, food access programs and food banks that serve low-income, homebound seniors, people experiencing homelessness and other groups in need.

Among the groups receiving grants is Project Angel Food, which will receive $150,000 to fund shelf-stable emergency food packages to their clients.

Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai President and CEO
Los Angeles is in our DNA. That is why we stand ready to do our part to serve the community in this time of need and going forward.
Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai President and CEO

“Project Angel Food has continued to feed our 1,600 clients uninterrupted, and it’s only because of generous partners like Cedars-Sinai," said Richard Ayoub, Executive Director of Project Angel Food. "We have incurred extra costs by sending more shelf-stable and medically tailored meals to our clients and hired temporary chefs and more drivers. With no near-end in sight of this pandemic, the funding will help us weather through these difficult times and keep us operating as an essential service feeding those in need.”

Other grantees include:

· Brilliant Corners, a nonprofit that creates housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness in partnership with government, healthcare, service providers, landlords and developers. Brilliant Corners will receive $125,000 to be used in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the homeless population.

· United Way of Greater Los Angeles will receive $100,000 in support of its Pandemic Relief Fund.

· The Mayor's Fund for L.A. will receive $100,000 for emergency food assistance to people experiencing homelessness in emergency shelters and to seniors through the city Department of Aging.

· Jewish Free Loan Association will receive $250,000 to more easily provide free loans to those facing housing insecurity by supporting the development of an emergency loan guarantor fund.

Additionally, Cedars-Sinai is giving $1 million to the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County to help community health centers serve patients safely in this challenging time. The grant will drive clinics to launch or expand telehealth programs that are critical for populations that traditionally lack comprehensive access to healthcare services. Community clinics will partner with telehealth experts to serve an increasing number of patients through new virtual technologies.

Cedars-Sinai has worked closely with statewide and local funders as well as our community partners to determine the highest priorities at this time. The collaboration is a reflection of Cedars-Sinai's deep ties to the Los Angeles community and its history of assisting social service agencies, schools, community clinics, senior centers and other organizations that serve vulnerable populations.

"Los Angeles is in our DNA," Priselac said. "That is why we stand ready to do our part to serve the community in this time of need and going forward."