The Community Foundation of the Valleys in Sherman Oaks sent out the first of its COVID-19 relief grants last month to three local nonprofit organizations: the Valley Economic Alliance, the Santa Clarita Grocery food bank and Hope of the Valley. The Valley Economic Alliance, also located in Sherman Oaks, received $5,000. “The grant from the Community Foundation of the Valleys will help us continue to serve small businesses through one-on-one technical assistance programs, through a webinar education program and through an e-newsletter that highlights available business service programs,” Randy Witt, former chair of the alliance, said in an email to the Business Journal. “Business assistance programs are making a significant impact in helping small businesses navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.” Santa Clarita Grocery received $10,000, while Hope of the Valley, which operates homeless shelters and is based in Van Nuys, also received $10,000. In March, Hope of the Valley stood up two 24/7 emergency shelters at the Granada Hills and North Hollywood Recreation Centers, where homeless people can receive medical services, personal storage, showers, three meals a day, temperature checks, cots and blankets. According to the foundation’s Executive Director Brigette Loden, the grants are targeted for nonprofits serving at-risk populations like the homeless and the newly unemployed, and particularly those that may be experiencing worker shortages or financial obstacles. She said Santa Clarita Grocery is suffering from a shortage of volunteer workers, rendering it unable to host its food drives. Since the outbreak, Loden said the food bank has been buying food from grocery stores. “The need has increased 750 percent in just a month. That’s where we feel like we can really help,” she said. Loden said these grants will be the first of many. “We are continuing to raise funds toward our $150,000 goal,” she said. “But in the meantime, we know how important it is for nonprofits to get these unrestricted funds as quickly as possible.” Following a grant of $50,000 from Weingart Foundation and a matching gift of $50,000 from Wolf Family Foundation, the Community Foundation is soliciting donations from individuals, businesses and other foundations to raise another $50,000 or more in hopes of reaching its goal of $150,000. The Community Foundation was founded in 2003 but reorganized and rebranded itself to include the Santa Clarita Valley in 2017. The main purpose of the foundation is to support Valley-area nonprofits. Besides Loden as executive director, the foundation is chaired by Tamara Gurney, chief executive of Mission Valley Bank. Contributions to the foundation can be made via the foundation’s website or by mail.