State health officials on Monday announced more than $10 million in grant money will be provided to small, community-based wellness organizations to provide COVID-19 mitigation resources and services to New Yorkers.

The money is meant to support organizations considered to be "trusted voices" among community members and serve people considered to be at greater risk for contracting COVID.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequities that exist in our health care infrastructure, and everyone should have access to accurate health care information,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “This new user-friendly grant process will ensure that traditionally underserved populations receive necessary information from reliable sources to enable them to make the best decision about the health care needs for themselves and their families.”

People of color were more likely to contract COVID-19 during the pandemic, and more likely to contract a serious or fatal case of the virus. New York health officials have sought to encourage vaccine distribution in many of those neighborhoods during the initial rollout.

The money is also being made available as more contagious variants have led to spikes in COVID cases around the country and in New York state.

Groups are eligible for one-time grants of $49,999, which are due Aug. 5 for organizations that are located outside New York City. Funding will be provided to up to 210 organizations that provide wellness programs.

Faith-based groups, non-profit organizations, community and educational groups as well as community health centers are eligible for the funding. They must also be non-rural organizations that have operating budgets of $1 million or less and be able to demonstrate the capacity to participate in project activities.