Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund Distributes Wave 3: $234,000 for Food, Housing and Financial Assistance

 New initiative announced: CU-Better Together to reduce food insecurity among families

Community Foundation and United Way are moving quickly to get help where it’s needed most. Thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, the Fund is able to release the largest and broadest wave of funds to date.

Wave 3 of Relief Funds includes $234,000 to support food, housing, and financial assistance. As part of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund grant requirements, United Way of Champaign County is acting as a regional hub by supporting rural areas outside of UWCC’s regular service area of Champaign County and Tuscola. Donations from individuals will continue to be used only within UWCC’s service area.

Joan Dixon, Community Foundation of East Central Illinois President and CEO, said, “We are pleased to work with wonderful nonprofit partners to address the immediate needs of our community as well as the on-going needs of east central Illinois. We are grateful for this support–and the support of all our donors.”

Support for the Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund has topped $500,000. “We are grateful for every gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is immense and growing every day. We continue to ask for our community’s support to help families that are out of work and struggling to get by. We want families to know that your community is here for you,” remarked Sue Grey, United Way of Champaign County President & CEO.


$126,000 to 14 programs to provide food for families, homebound seniors, and food pantries.

This includes a new initiative – CU BetterTogether. This is an all-inclusive effort of both faith-based, and non-faith-based organizations to come together to support the families of school-aged children and reduce food insecurity in our community during COVID-19. It will work to support the existing food distribution systems managed by Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana Unit 116. The Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund is providing $65,000 in initial funds and will manage the CU-BetterTogether funds as part of overall relief work.


$36,000 to 4 organizations to provide emergency shelter and mortgage assistance.

Financial Assistance

$22,000 to five organizations to provide one-time emergency financial aid to families.

Other United Ways

As required by the Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant, $50,000 from the grant will be distributed to three neighboring United Ways. They will use the funds to support their communities’ greatest needs.