New Funds Support Local Workers

Funds Established to Support Service Industry Workers

After new statewide restrictions, including closing indoor dining, were announced to help curb the effects of the pandemic, locals wanted to do something to help people working in the service industry. The new guidelines came just a few weeks before Christmas—typically one of the busiest times of the year for bars and restaurants.

Fundraisers and leaders in three counties—Cambria, Somerset, and Bedford—stepped up to raise money for local families.

Applications for the Cambria and Somerset funds are now closed, but the fund established in Bedford County continues to accept applications for assistance.

“The Community Foundation is here to benefit our region every day, forever,” CFA President Mike Kane said. “This year, those every day challenges are magnified in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. As always, our community has stepped up to show how much they care, and this is another example. We are proud to help local people support our friends and neighbors right here in our region.”

CFA has helped address pandemic-related needs throughout the year, first with by establishing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund to respond to urgent needs arising from the pandemic. That fund provided more than $312,000 in assistance to nonprofits working in our region. CFA also worked to address coronavirus-related needs through the Foundation’s annual Fall Grants, plus a $40,000 Community Initiatives Fund grant, that is providing funds for a new Cambria County Destination Recovery Program. Working in partnership with Visit Johnstown, that program aims to help the local business community weather the pandemic. More information about that program can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Bedford County

The Help Save Our Bedford County Restaurants and Workers Fund, established by Bedford County Commissioners, will help Bedford County restaurants as well as workers who are unemployed or underemployed. Commissioners also are urging residents to support local restaurants by buying gift cards or ordering take-out.

No county or taxpayer dollars are being directed to the fund. Commissioners’ Board Vice Chair Barry Dallara said local restaurant owners and their employers continue to face challenges.

“Through no fault of their own, now more than anytime we can remember in our lifetime, they are in need of community support,” he said.