$750,000 of in-kind Donations from Ningxia Yanbao Foundation and Shandong Province Provincial Government, China, Sister State to Connecticut
More than 7,000 Meals and Pantry Staples Prepared and Delivered to Those in Need
The Grace Farms Alliance Against COVID-19—established by Grace Farms Foundation and comprised of eight partners, including the Shandong Province Provincial Government (sister state to Connecticut), Town of New Canaan Emergency Management, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc., Ningxia Yanbao Foundation, Building and Land Technology, Greenwich Economic Forum, Helena Foundation and XJ Group to fight the COVID-19 pandemic—has distributed more than 1 million pieces of personal protective equipment in 3 weeks. Recipients include Connecticut hospitals, COVID-19 clinics and testing sites, first responders and skilled nursing facilities in local towns.
Grace Farms Foundation’s expertise in transnational supply chains and customs is exercised within its Justice Initiative to combat forced labor, yet the Foundation has been able to swiftly adapt and use these global relationships to procure and expedite PPE to fill mass statewide shortages. The new Grace Farms Alliance Against COVID-19 has secured N95 NIOSH and FDA-Certified respirators, face shields, surgical masks, isolation coveralls, and gowns. Critical supplies have been delivered by 30 volunteers from the New Canaan Fire Department No. 1, Grace Farms Foundation staff and the Connecticut Army National Guard to recipients across the state, sometimes within hours after the PPE arrived in State.
The effort is funded by the Grace Farms Relief Fund for Connecticut, an initial fund of $2.5 million which has now received more than $750,000 of in-kind donations from Ningxia Yanbao Foundation and Shandong Province Provincial Government and has raised an additional $100,000 in funding. As of this release, the Alliance has purchased more than 200,000 additional N95 NIOSH respirators with deliveries scheduled through the first week of May, totaling more than 500,000 N95 respirators delivered to date.
Sharon Prince, CEO and Founder of Grace Farms Foundation said, “We have seen the best in humanity locally and globally expediently come together with a ‘can-do’ spirit to provide 1 million items of PPE to our frontline heroes. Our cross-sector collaboration and the expertise of the linchpin of our global operation, Rod Khattabi, has worked in short order to strategically help fill the life-threatening supply-demand gap of PPE across the state of Connecticut. It is imperative that we continue to leverage our reliable supply chain with our colleagues in China as we aim to meet the escalating demand for PPE, particularly for N95 respirators.”
Max Reiss, Director of Communications of the Office of Governor Lamont said, “Our state’s success, and our residents’ safety during this unprecedented public health emergency will be dictated by our ability to work together through partnership and collaboration. Grace Farms Foundation is one of those partners stepping up to make sure our healthcare workers have the supplies they need while they work on the frontline and we are thankful to work with them to help as many people as possible.”
“To support Connecticut in the combat against Covid-19, we will donate goods in need to our sister state of 34 years as any friend indeed would have done. So long as we stand together through this hardship, together we shall prevail. Let our friendship shine through this challenging time,” said the America & Oceania Division, Shandong Foreign Affairs Office.
The Alliance’s vital work is based at Grace Farms in New Canaan, CT. As an essential business, a third of the 95 employees of Grace Farms Foundation are working on site to receive and distribute PPE across the state as well as prepare meals and staple food items for those in need. To date, Grace Farms has also delivered more than 7,000 meals through partnerships with twelve not-for-profit organizations in Fairfield County.
Co-funded by the Grace Farms Relief Fund for Connecticut, The Helena Foundation yesterday launched The Covid Network, a software platform to enable COVID responders to find the areas of greatest medical need in real time. The Covid Network will roll out in key hotspots across the country this week. More information can be found here.
Grace Farms Foundation is actively seeking additional philanthropic support to ensure the Relief Fund continues to fill the need for PPE and food throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Those interested in supporting the Fund and learning about Grace Farms Foundation’s efforts can visit gracefarms.org/covid19-response/.
Louisa Lombardi, critical care ICU nurse at St. Vincent’s Medical Care, Bridgeport said, “It means the world to me to have this N95 mask on for my safety and for the safety of my family that I have to go home to and come back—I love my job, I just want to be protected.”
David Rich, Co-Chair of Open Doors Fairfield County/Western CT and Executive Director of Supportive Housing Works said, “On behalf of the homeless service providers and partners across western Connecticut, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for the donations of masks and gloves that will help keep some of our most vulnerable community members and the staff that serve them safe. Our system had limited supply and no source in sight, but as a result of your donation, we are providing masks to the 600 individuals and families experiencing homelessness and masks and gloves to the 175 staff working with them daily. Thank you for helping us continue our work to prevent and end homelessness safely across all of western Connecticut!”
“We are incredibly grateful for Grace Farms Foundation’s efforts to forge this innovative alliance,” said Mark DeWaele, MD, President of Stamford Health’s Board of Directors. “This partnership between public, private and government organizations is helping hospitals and other critical health care providers during these unprecedented times. I also want to recognize and commend community leaders like Sharon Prince, Mike Handler and Carl Kuehner for their leadership in making these critical resources available.”
After receiving a recent delivery of food and pantry items, Susan Schnitzer, President and CEO of Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, stressed the need for continued support, “We are seeing the need grow. This week, in addition to our refugee and asylees seeking assistance, we provided food to a client in our Unaccompanied Minor programs and their families.”
Grace Farms Alliance Against COVID-19 Partners
Ningxia Yanbao Foundation
*PPE deliveries are also coordinated with the State of Connecticut
Medical Relief Supplies Recipients
Community Health Center, Inc. (14 COVID-19 testing sites)
Griffin Hospital, Derby
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, New London
St. Francis, Hartford
St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport
Waveny Care Center
Towns Receiving PPE Supplies for first responders, assisted living facilities and other front-line workers
Image Caption (left to right): Rod Khattabi, Chief Accountability Officer and Director of Grace Farms Foundation’s Justice Initiative delivers PPE to St. Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury); Grace Farms Foundation facility directors, Bill Stonebridge and Adam Petraska, deliver PPE to Bristol Hospital; Nurse Allison Gorlo, CRNA at St. Vincent’s Medical Center (Bridgeport) in PPE provided by Grace Farms Foundation (photo credit: Dr. Theresa Bowling).