Covid 19 Disaster Relief Fund

The Inner North Community Foundation launched the Inner North Covid-19 Fund in March 20 2020, with a focus on supporting local people and charities with:

  1. Rapid Response grants for local not for profit community groups to respond in flexible and creative ways.
  2. Emergency relief vouchers for families to buy essentials from local traders, with vouchers allocated by local charities.
  3. Pathways to Employment projects that support people in our community impacted by Covid-19.

We put public call-out for donations and received $526,939 from local people, businesses and Government. The bulk of funds were distributed in the first 6 months to more than 150 local community groups.

The grants program received the Community Philanthropy Award from Philanthropy Australia in 2022.

Here are some of the projects we funded:


First Australians Media – 3knd Radio (Darebin)

3knd purchased specialist recording equipment that has allowed staff to continue producing content for the radio station whilst working remotely. This enabled the station to maintain their link with their Melbourne’s First Australians audience during lockdowns.

Muslim Women’s Council of Victoria (Merri-bek)

During COVID lockdowns the MWCV’s volunteers cooked meals every Friday for those in need, including international students, impoverished families, refugees, homeless, elderly, and people with disabilities. For recipients who are unable to come for collection due to physical limitations, meals are individually packaged and delivered.

St Mary’s House of Welcome (Yarra)

During the Covid-19 pandemic, St Mary’s House of Welcome packed and distributed approximately 650 meal packs a day to homeless people temporarily housed in motels, 50 to international students, and around 500 meal packs weekly to rough sleepers as well as providing showers, fresh underwear, hygiene packs, hampers and resources.

The Foundation received the 2022 Community Philanthropy Award from Philanthropy Australia, which recognises best practice in addressing place-based challenges and achieving great outcomes, ability to unlock community assets beyond granting, and adding value through collaboration, partnering, and convening power as a conduit to local knowledge and need.

To continue to support local people, the Northside Media Fund has been established to provide food and other essential items to local people.