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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- It started with a tweet in 2017. Kaitlyn Parhm asked for canned goods to help feed the hungry. The response was immediate. With an overload of responses, she was inspired to create Helping Hands, a nonprofit to help those in need in the city of Inglewood.

"My focus during the pandemic has been keeping people off the streets, it's been providing them with the help they need," said Parhm.

Food, basic toiletries, clothing and helping the homeless is part of Helping Hands' mission. They also host community events.

"Every community needs someone that's willing to help when we can't help ourselves," said Leslie Frison, a Los Angeles resident.

Because her nonprofit relies heavily on donations, Parhm said the pandemic has been tough because people aren't able to donate as much. However, she recently started selling sweatshirts where she said 100 percent of the proceeds goes back to her nonprofit.

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Chick-fil-A giving $5M in grants to Black-led nonprofits, groups helping communities of color

For the second year in a row, Chick-fil-A is focusing its "True Inspiration Awards" on Black-led nonprofits and nonprofits that impact communities of color. 

On Tuesday, the fast food chain announced that applications for the 2022 grant program are now open until May 31.

Chick-fil-A will be giving a total of $5 million in grants to 34 nonprofits that focus on education, homelessness and hunger. 

In order to be eligible, nonprofits have to be based in the U.S. or Canada and either "have a majority Black board of directors, executive leadership and staff or provide services that currently and intentionally impact Black communities or other communities of color in a quantifiable or measurable way," the website says.


According to the announcement, nonprofits who are approved will receive between $50,000 and $350,000. 

"There are incredible nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada working to address key issues that disproportionately affect communities of color in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger," Rodney Bullard, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of corporate social responsibility said in a statement. "Through our annual True Inspiration Awards, we are honored to help these organizations, based in the communities we serve, extend their impact, helping to pave the way for greater opportunity and equity."


Nonprofits will be able to apply for the grant, or they can be nominated by a local Chick-fil-A restaurant operator, according to the announcement. 

Chick-fil-A announced Tuesday that it is accepting applications for its 2022 "True Inspiration Awards" grant program, focusing on nonprofits that are Black-led or that impact communities of color. (iStock)

In September, Chick-fil-A One members will be able to vote on nominated organizations in their region through the fast food chain’s app. 


Since the "True Inspiration Awards" were first created in 2015, the program has awarded a total of $12 million in grants to 171 organizations, according to the announcement. 

Last year, Chick-fil-A decided to focus the program specifically on nonprofits that are Black-led or that impact communities of color as part of the company’s "pledge to take action against racial injustice," according to the program’s FAQ page.


"The True Inspiration Awards have always been a platform to give back on a local level," the page says. "By refocusing our annual awards, we are taking an intentional step to support leaders and organizations that are finding solutions to address key systemic issues experienced by many Black children and families."

Ann Schmidt is a Lifestyle reporter for Fox News.

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