2020 Ford Driving Dreams COVID-19 Response Grants

In response to the increasing need for direct assistance to the Hispanic community, Ford Motor Company Fund and LULAC Institute continued their partnership to provide relief to communities most in need. Through the generous support of Ford Fund, LULAC councils in the Ford Driving Dreams Network were awarded $2,000 grants to support Hispanic students during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide direct relief efforts in their communities.

The Ford Driving Dreams COVID-19 Response Grants enabled 33 LULAC councils in 14 states to carry out COVID-19 response initiatives aimed to provide relief efforts focused on educational support, access to technology, hunger relief, general health and mental health coaching. 40 grants were awarded and supported the work of 50 initiatives. Through these initiatives, councils helped families meet their basic needs and reached over 28,651 beneficiaries.

Educational Support

The commitment of LULAC councils in the Ford Driving Dreams Grants Network to supporting the education of students and the program’s alumni was demonstrated through the innovative projects they carried out. The generous support of Ford Fund allowed them to assess the most critical needs within their communities and address them effectively. Although many of the initiatives have been categorized under different focuses, they are all interconnected with the primary goal of supporting the continued education of students.

Access to Technology

Eight LULAC councils in California, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin stepped in to help school districts fill the gaps in equitable access to technology among students in their communities when schools became required to implement remote learning efforts. Initiatives focused on providing students and families with technological equipment and access to internet services. These efforts reached more than 178 individuals.

Hunger Relief

Through the generous support of Ford Fund, 22 LULAC councils carried out hunger relief initiatives to help families across the country meet their basic nutritional needs. Hunger relief efforts focused on two main approaches: providing assistance in the form of gift cards to be used at local grocery stores, and distributing food provisions and meals to support the work of food pantries. More than 22,579 individuals received hunger relief assistance through the various initiatives.

Health Initiatives

A total of nine LULAC councils carried out initiatives to address the increasing need for health services as well as COVID-19 prevention and treatment. Initiatives primarily focused on increasing access to hygiene products, sanitation supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) among essential workers and families in highly impacted areas as well as increasing access to medical services. Health-focused initiatives reached over 2,017 individuals.

Mental Health Initiatives

The mental health and well-being of both students and adults became a great concern for many educators who served as the main source of support for families in their communities. Three LULAC councils in Puerto Rico and New York addressed the need for increased services and resources by providing free services to families in their respective locations. Over 3,558 individuals were reached through the mental health sessions.