Lilly Endowment awards $17.2M to local groups providing emergency aid

Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $17.2 million in grants to organizations in Marion County providing emergency support for people affected by the pandemic, including food banks, community centers and homeless shelters.

The grants to 38 organizations announced Monday bring the total amount of support provided by the endowment for COVID-related needs to nearly $208 million.

“As our community enters winter, COVID-19-related economic realities and other challenges continue to mount. The next few months are going to be profoundly difficult for many vulnerable people and for the organizations that work tirelessly to serve them,” said Ronni Kloth, the Endowment’s vice president for community development.

The biggest chunk of the funds—$10.5 million—has been dedicated to 15 community and multi-service centers that offer a range of services, such as health care, child care, counseling, job training and youth development, as well as programs for seniors.

They range from $400,000 for the Christamore House to $1.75 million for the John Boner Neighborhood Centers.

Another $3.5 million has been earmarked for food-assistance groups Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana ($2.5 million) and Midwest Food Bank—Indiana Division ($1 million).

Thirteen organizations that focus on helping people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence are receiving a total of $2.75 million. And eight organizations that provide outreach for people in need—in particular, highly vulnerable Black residents of high-poverty neighborhoods—have been awarded $475,000.

Lilly Endowment is one of the largest grant-making foundations in the United States and concentrates its giving to the causes of community development, education and religion. The endowment ranked as the second-largest private charitable foundation in the country at the end of 2018, trailing only the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Since its founding in 1937, Lilly Endowment has distributed more than $10.9 billion in grants to more than 10,000 charitable organizations, most of them in Indiana. Its assets are primarily ties to the stock of Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.

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