A day after announcing a $3 million fund to support grants to Black people struggling during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) says the fund has been exhausted.
On Thursday, in a press release sent to The Root, BLMGNF said it had launched a BLM Survival Fund to make grants of $1,000 to Black people experiencing economic hardship, to help cover their rent, groceries, utilities and other living expenses.
“Millions of people in Black communities have lost their jobs, been evicted, gone hungry or fallen ill during the pandemic, and the BLM Survival Fund is a bold initiative to provide some relief during this unprecedented time,” read the release about the fund’s launch.
By Friday morning, The Root discovered the official webpage for the fund said applications for relief have been closed until further notice.
In a statement, BLMGNF co-founder and executive director Patrisse Cullors confirmed that grants from the fund has ended, at least for the time being, following immense demand.
“The need is so great that the BLM Survival Fund met its goal of providing direct support to nearly 3,000 Black people and their families within 12 hours of launching,” said Cullors. “Until corporations and organizations increase the fund’s capacity, we are unable to accept additional applications for grants at this time. We received 9,000 applications in such a short time because our people are suffering.”
Earlier this week, BLMGNF revealed that it brought in $90 million last year and had over $60 million still in its coffers at the end of 2020, after disbursing $21.7 million in grants to BLM chapters across the country and local Black-led organizations.
The recent financial disclosure came after 10 BLM chapters issued an open letter in December that criticized BLMGNF leadership for a lack of transparency.
The BLM Survival Fund is meant to provide mutual aid for Black communities in the absence of necessary relief from the government, said the foundation.
“The need will not go down until Congress steps up and provides monthly survival checks for our communities,” BLMGNF said in its statement, calling for donations to replenish the rapidly exhausted fund. “We need everyone, every corporation, every elected official who said Black Lives Matter during last summer’s uprisings to make Black Lives Matter by putting their money where their mouth is.”