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Union Pacific Railroad's Community Ties Giving Program has awarded $10.2 million in local grants to more than 930 nonprofit organizations across the Class I's 23-state system.
Traditionally, UP awards grants in the company's three philanthropic priorities: safety, workforce development and community spaces. However, this year, nearly $7 million is being awarded to efforts to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, UP officials said in a press release.
Due to the unprecedented circumstances and anticipated community need, an additional $5 million in funding was added to the local grants program this year, bringing the total to the $10.2 million.
In order to expedite funding and address immediate needs, the COVID-19 Relief Grants were awarded in waves, with about 620 organizations receiving support, UP officials said. Those grants were used to address critical community needs associated with the pandemic, including general operating support.
"Every community was impacted by the pandemic in its own way, and the COVID-19 Relief Grants allowed nonprofit organizations to provide customized, essential services, and in some cases, keep the lights on," said Scott Moore, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at UP and president of Union Pacific Foundation. "At the same time, it's important for us to continue supporting organizations that ensure the communities where our employees live and work remain safe and vibrant, while providing opportunities for family supporting jobs."
The local grants range from $2,500 to $25,000. Recipients are selected through an open, competitive application process, UP officials said.