New Balance Foundation (NBF)* announced the second round of COVID-19 relief grants totaling $375,000 to charities in Massachusetts and Maine, including West End House Boys and Girls Club, Lawrence Boys and Girls Club, Merrimack Valley YMCA, Dorchester Boys and Girls Club, SquashBusters, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Maine School District 54.

Boston-based New Balance Athletics, Inc. has footwear manufacturing facilities in Boston, Lawrence and Central Maine. The grants will address inequities related to COVID-19 across education, technology access and food security in communities dealing with hybrid or fully remote teaching models.

“Children from these communities already face higher levels of poverty, lack access to technology vital for remote learning and may not have an adult presence to navigate online classes and assist with homework due to parents’ need to work to support the family,” said Anne Davis, managing trustee, New Balance Foundation. “Additionally, with many afterschool organizations currently closed or serving smaller groups of youth, children who rely on school and afterschool organizations for meals are now at greater risk of going hungry. New Balance Foundation has endeavored to close gaps in equity for 40 years and are proud to support our local communities in these unprecedented times.”

To address the widening gap in educational access and food security, non-profit organizations like the West End House, Lawrence and Dorchester Boys & Girls Clubs and the Merrimack Valley YMCA quickly reworked their operations to open Remote Learning Hubs for students-in-need to provide safe, physically distanced, supervised learning during the school day hours. Students also receive fitness breaks and meals during the day.

The grants from New Balance Foundation will run from January through March 2021

*In total, New Balance Foundation has distributed more than $9 million in 2020, including annual Foundation grants and its first round of COVID-19 relief grants in Spring 2020 to help local, national and international organizations with immediate relief, including assisting with food access programs, operational costs and more.