Coronavirus Update – April 14: Death toll at 524; APS virtual town hall; contract worker relief funds; fund & food donations

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 524 deaths with 14,578 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state during its evening update.

Atlanta Public Schools will host a live virtual town hall on Facebook Live, Friday, April 17, at noon, to answer questions from APS students, parents and staff on the COVID-19 closure, teleworking and teleschooling. The virtual town hall will feature a live question and answer session with viewers tuned into the event at www.facebook.com/AtlantaPublicSchools.

Georgia’s Own Foundation will distribute the first $250,000 installment of the City of Atlanta’s commitment to support its contract employees who have experienced lost income and financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city will make up to $1.5 million in donations to the Georgia’s Own Foundation organization. Those funds will then be distributed as tax-free grants by the foundation to eligible hourly contract workers. The program will provide recipients with a one-time payment of $2,000 to cover living expenses, augmenting programs such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The recipients of these grants are typically hourly employees with an annual income between $20,000 and $40,000 who are employed through a city contract.

The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, a joint effort from Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, today announced the Fund’s fourth round of grants. Nearly $1.8 million will distribute to 18 organizations for emergency response. A grand total of more than $10.5 million from the Fund has been mobilized to benefit 62 nonprofits to date. Grants made in the earlier rounds are detailed on both the Community Foundation’s website and United Way’s website.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has announce three new programs in partnership with Piedmont Healthcare, CHRIS 180 and Chef Hugh Acheson to donate meals to surrounding Atlanta communities amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The Piedmont Healthcare program, which launched last week, will provide 5,000 meals a week to Piedmont Hospitals in Fayette County and Newnan, just south of metro Atlanta. Providing boxed meals allows frontline healthcare workers to also practice social distancing in areas such as the hospital cafeteria where it might otherwise be difficult. Mercedes-Benz Stadium and its food and beverage partner Levy Restaurants are preparing the lunches and deliver them to the two hospitals three times a week. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is offering its kitchens and Levy chefs to prepare food for CHRIS 18 to distribute to the Westside community.  Renowned Atlanta chef Hugh Acheson, owner of 5&10 and Empire State South, is partnering with Georgia Organics and Fueling the Frontline to deliver hundreds of meals each week to frontline workers at Atlanta Medical Center and the VA, as well as to children and families through Carver Neighborhood Market, the Metro YMCA and HEALing Community Center.