The City of Toronto will distribute nearly $2 million in funding to dozens of community agencies with nearly half of the investment set aside for organizations focused on helping Black residents who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor John Tory announced the funding during a press conference at city hall on Tuesday morning, noting that it is a “modest investment” but one that will nonetheless be meaningful for organizations that have seen their “donations dry up” during COVID-19.

He said that in total 33 organizations will receive money as part of the dispersal.

Nearly half of the money, $918,000, will be allocated to Black agencies to support a community that makes up 23 per cent of all cases of COVID-19 despite only being nine per cent of Toronto’s population.

Meanwhile, another $250,000 in funding will go to agencies that work with people with disabilities while $140,000 in funding will go to Indigenous agencies.

Tory said that the organizations receiving money will use it to offer programs in eight priority areas: housing and homelessness; food access and security; family support; mental health support; income support; social connection; community sector support; and community safety and well-being.

“It is clear from the Toronto Public Health data that marginalized communities are in fact being more heavily impacted by the COVID-19 virus. I hope this additional funding will help these agencies to provide more help to these communities,” he said in making the announcement.

The funding announced by Tory on Tuesday marks the second of three planned dispersals of funds to community agencies that was made possible by a nearly $40 million provincial investment to support social services during the pandemic.

Tory said that the funding will “make a big difference” for agencies that have been effectively “cut off” from some of their usual sources of funding during the pandemic, though he acknowledged that it “isn’t a long-term solution.”

“As this pandemic continues to impact the city residents I want to ensure that people understand that we are actively advocating to all levels of government for increased funding to support the emergency and recovery needs of our communities,” he said. “We know that there needs to be more permanent and broadly based solutions.”

The city previously distributed $2.8 million to community agencies in June.

The third and final dispersal of funds is expected to take place sometime before the end of 2020.