LEICESTER, United Kingdom – A charitable foundation in the United Kingdom has given £1 million ($1.27 million) to Catholic charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation was created by the founder of Kwik Save and Total Fitness in 2010. Gubay died in 2016, but the foundation that bears his name continues his philanthropic work.

“I was taken aback by the sheer generosity of this single payment and agreed to cooperate in the distribution of this grant to Catholic Charities. In consultation with the foundation and with my fellow Metropolitan Archbishops, a process was established to enable Catholic charities to apply for this emergency money,” Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales,  said in a June 9 statement.

Nichols received the call on May 20 and asked for applications for funds by May 31. In total, 38 applications were received for grants with proposals totalling over £2 million ($2.54 million).

The bishops conference on June 9 announced how the money was allocated.

— Over £400,000 ($510,000) to strengthen the work of local food banks and the direct provision of food.

— Over £250,000 ($318,000) to augment programmes of food vouchers for the poorest impacted by COVID-19.

— Over £335,000 ($425,000) for the immediate financial assistance of those in extreme circumstances.

“On behalf of so many, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for this exceptional and magnificent donation to such important work. In particular, I thank the Gubay family for their leadership in this remarkable gift which is in addition to the regular charitable giving of the foundation,” Nichols said.

Charities across the UK have been struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has both increased workloads and a huge decrease in donations, both due to economic uncertainty and the temporary closing of charity shops.

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