United Way of Monroe County launched the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund on March 16 with contributions from nearly 30 local organizations. The fund supports service organizations helping to provide economic stability and basic needs of people in Monroe, Owen and Greene counties, according to the United Way of Monroe County website.

As of March 31, the United Way COVID-19 fund has granted $298,000 to 16 service organizations to provide critical services to people in need, according to the United Way website. The largest grants were awarded to the Wheeler Mission and the Shalom Community Center to fund a safe isolation shelter, according to the website.

“We are awed, but not surprised, by the quick generosity of organizations, businesses and individuals in our community,” said United Way executive director Efrat Feferman. “It’s inspiring to see everyone coming together for the good of all.”

Food service organizations Pantry 279 Inc., Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, the Monroe County Food Train, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, El Centro Comunal Latino, Community Kitchen and Bloomington Meals on Wheels received a total of more than $100,000 in grants from the emergency fund, according to the website.

Local organizations supporting the fund include the City of Bloomington, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Bloomington Township and Bloomington Health Foundation, according to the website.

The Bloomington Health Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, joined the COVID-19 fund by donating $25,000 and will double individual donations from community members with a matching grant of up to $25,000, according to the website.

The organization has shifted its focus from supporting people suffering from substance abuse to fighting the spread of the coronavirus in Indiana. Jon Barada, the foundation’s president and CEO, said the foundation has deployed projects and grants to help other community organizations.

“We believe we have to work together to get more done,” Barada said. “A combination of government, private and nonprofit organizations working together is the essence of what we do.”