Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced an additional round of Vaccinate the Ocean State COVID-19 Mini-Grants are available to community-based organizations and faith-based communities looking to do COVID-19 vaccine promotion. The grants will also support work to get community members access to COVID-19 testing, masks, and expanded COVID-19 education.

“Community engagement is key to our COVID-19 response,” said Governor McKee in a statement. “Community organizations throughout Rhode Island have done so much throughout this pandemic to support the people in their neighborhoods and communities. This mini-grant opportunity will give them the chance to sustain that vital work and help get as many Rhode Islanders vaccination against COVID-19 as possible.”

This is the third round of Vaccinate the Ocean State COVID-19 Mini-Grants that are being made available. The grant program is funded by the CDC Health Disparities Grant. The mini-grants range from $2,000 to $4,975, and more than 45 total grants will be distributed from a pool of $223,000.

Preference will be given to applicants that will serve communities harder hit by COVID-19 and communities with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates. Individuals and for-profit institutions are not eligible for funding.

“Through our Health Equity Zone (HEZ) initiative, RIDOH has established strong relationships with our community partners,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Every neighborhood is unique, and our partners know how best to reach the people who live in the communities they serve. We understand that people still have questions about COVID-19. These mini-grants will help our partners provide clear and accurate public health information.”

The deadline to apply is Friday, September 30 at 5 p.m. More information about the mini-grants is available at health.ri.gov/rfp.

A Virtual Technical Assistance Conference will be held on Friday, September 24 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to answer any questions. The conference will be accessible at the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2789173223.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).