Lake Macquarie Council is injecting $100,000 into community organisations on the pandemic frontline.
23 grants worth up to $5,000 each are being distributed to groups including Wyee Hub, Hunter Homeless Connect and Survivors R Us.
Windale PCYC will use its share to help Oz Harvest deliver care packages to struggling families across the city, providing personal hygiene and protective equipment packs.
OzHarvest Emergency Food Coordinator Peter Schwarz said the organisation worked with about 60 local agencies to distribute care packages daily.
“We’ve been doing 620 hampers in our local region a week,” he said.
“The need has only increased as we have dealt with COVID, and we’re finding more people and more agencies are coming to us for assistance. The vans are all full every day, but without grants like this, programs like ours don’t exist.”
The grants were awarded to projects related to increased demands or needs prompted by the COVID pandemic including food and mental health relief.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the grants aimed to provide immediate, direct relief where it was needed most.
“These grants have been fast-tracked to ensure they help people most affected by the recent COVID lockdowns and restrictions,” Cr Fraser said.
“They will help put food on the table of families doing it tough, they’ll fund counselling services for people struggling to see light at the end of the tunnel, and they’ll provide vouchers for people who may no longer be able to make ends meet.”