Gill Foundation Contributes Over $1M to COVID-19 Relief
July 10, 2020
Over 25 years ago, the Gill Foundation began with the mission to secure full equality for LGBT Americans. As an organization founded in Colorado, that mission has always included ensuring all Coloradans have equal opportunity to thrive. As the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and exacerbated societal inequities, we have dedicated funding and staff resources to help our neighbors who have been disproportionally affected by the economic fallout of this public health crisis.
As Colorado’s unemployment rate skyrocketed, so too did the demand for food. According to Feeding America, which provides supplies to food banks in Colorado, 98% of food banks reported an increase in demand for food assistance, but 60% reported having less inventory in the first few months of the crisis due to disrupted supply chains and donations. As a result, providers in Colorado had to purchase additional food to ensure recipients received well-balanced, healthy meals. Food Bank of the Rockies reported that more than 30% of the people seeking food assistance never needed this assistance prior to the pandemic. We knew we needed to help.
With the leadership of our board co-chairs, Scott Miller and Tim Gill, the foundation donated $50,000 to Project Angel Heart to deliver meals to some of the most vulnerable Coloradans. The foundation also gave $500,000 to Food Bank of the Rockies, which reaches nearly 60% of Colorado’s food-insecure population, and $150,000 to Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, which reaches 22% of this population. Combined, this allowed these two food banks to provide over 3 million well-balanced meals to Coloradans in need. Since mid-March, Food Bank of the Rockies has served more than 100,000 people, distributing more than 2.5 million pounds of food – a 90% increase from their normal food distribution.
The foundation’s team has also been deeply involved with Governor Polis’ Colorado COVID Relief Fund from the outset. Our founder and board co-chair, Tim Gill, joined the Fund’s executive committee, our President & CEO, Brad Clark, joined the community voices committee, and two of our staff members joined additional committees tasked with helping to review grant applications. Additionally, the foundation donated $100,000 to the Fund in order to help fuel the first round of grants made to nonprofits working in prevention, impact, and recovery.
At the end of LGBT Pride month this past June, we learned that another organization was facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The Stonewall Inn is the site of the iconic Stonewall Riots and the nation’s first LGBT historic landmark, and was considering closing its doors due to the negative economic impact of COVID-19. The Gill Foundation quickly provided a $250,000 lifeline to ensure that the Stonewall Inn will remain a historic gathering spot beyond the pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 on our communities will be felt for years to come. We hope to continue supporting efforts to ensure our neighbors and friends are not left behind in this difficult time – that everyone has access to the basic necessities as we rebuild our state together.