By Chris Rhatigan June 23, 2020 GROTON, CT — The Chelsea Groton Foundation has approved $451,813 in grants to 85 non-profit organizations from Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to a statement from the organization. The foundation has provided $4 million in total grants since its founding in 1998. Over $85,000 was approved for organizations that needed emergency support for basic human needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency funding included $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut for their Neighbors for Neighbors Fund, $10,000 to the emergency food assistance program at Jonnycake Center of Westerly, and $7,500 to Operation Fuel for emergency energy grants for New London County residents. Due to the increased need across all giving categories, the Foundation approved the funding of over 30 more organizations than usual in a single giving cycle, according to the statement. Also included in this dollar amount is a $100,000 grant to Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC) for Global City Norwich, a multi-year project of revitalizing Downtown Norwich, through multicultural events and entrepreneurship. This is the third year the Chelsea Groton Foundation has committed a $100,000 grant to the Global City Norwich program. Funds are used to identify and train entrepreneurs of many cultural backgrounds, build partnerships in order to help entrepreneurs find appropriate storefront spaces and funding for their businesses, and create a thriving downtown environment that will ensure increased traffic in area businesses. 'Chelsea Groton Bank has been a bastion of strength and support in Connecticut since before the Civil War. For more than 165 years, we have been serving our customers and communities through famines, storms, pandemics, crashes, wars and more. While the COVID-19 pandemic is a healthcare crisis, it also carries very serious economic implications. In recent months, our community and our world has witnessed a tremendous loss of life, as well as loss of jobs, businesses and non-profits who play critical roles in contributing to our shared community,' said Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, and President of the Chelsea Groton Foundation. 'I'm incredibly proud of the organizations who pivoted to find new ways to help and support people, even while socially distant.'