In a significant community milestone, the Branford Community Foundation and the Town of Branford announced the allocation of $395,000 in federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support local nonprofits in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Branford First Selectman James Cosgrove commented, “The ARPA funding will fortify nonprofits focused on delivering critical resources to our Branford residents who were negatively impacted by COVID-19. We thank the Branford Community Foundation for their trusted leadership and the ARPA Review Committee for bringing experience and rigor to the process.”
In February 2023, the Town of Branford asked the Branford Community Foundation (BCF) to develop recommendations for distribution of $395,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to charitable organizations serving the Branford community. When applying for funding, organizations needed to demonstrate negative economic impact created or exacerbated by Covid-19, and they needed to meet the criteria of one of the areas of funding priority:
Basic needs, including food insecurity, shelter, emergency financial assistance, and childcare
Populations disparately impacted that may not have been supported by BCF in the past
Mental health services, including prevention, intervention, and substance misuse
Programs that create joy in the Branford community
Child and youth development services
Organizations that strive for high impact in the Branford community
The ARPA Review Committee, comprised of BCF Board Members, community representatives, and an experienced Connecticut-based ARPA resource, established a process, reviewed the applications, and created recommendations to the Town for the available funds. The Committee represented skills and experience areas including community service, business, education, legal, and health.
It was a thorough and competitive review process, with 27 area nonprofits submitting applications and requesting a total of $579,369 (range $2,000 to $75,000). The ARPA Review Committee’s recommendation for 25 grants totaling $395,000 with awards ranging from $2,000 - $50,000 was approved, with 16 grants recommended for full funding, 7 for partial funding, 1 referred back to the town for funding through a different process, and 1 not recommended for funding.
ARPA award recipients include:
Branford Historical Society
Branford Land Trust
Carrie P. Chandler Housing Development Corporation
Child Development Center
Community Dining Room
Fair Haven Community Health Care
Friends of James Blackstone Memorial Library
Move to Heal CT
Orchard House Medical Adult Day Center
Read To Grow
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Heritage Foundation
Shoreline Arts Alliance
Shoreline Eldercare Alliance
Shoreline Village CT
Soundview Family YMCA (℅ Central Connecticut Coast YMCA)
Special Olympics Connecticut
Stony Creek Museum Inc.
The Branford Chorale
The Branford Electric Railway Association
The Connecticut Hospice
The Cove Center for Grieving Children
Woman & Family Life Center
Members of the ARPA review committee include Amy Etzel (Cmte Chair), Stephanie Donegan Dietz (Board Chair), Kathleen Fox, Heather Hackley, Chuck Tiernan, George Krivda (ARPA Expert), Rita Berkson, Peter Cimino, Gretchen Dale, David Etzel, Margot Hardenbergh, and Rachel Sexton.
The $395,000 allocation is an investment in the well-being and prosperity of our town. We are honored to work with the Town of Branford to address the impact of the pandemic on our charitable organizations and the people they serve. Thank you to everyone who played a role in this process, especially the ARPA Review Committee and the Town of Branford.