“NCOA Launches COVID-19 Community Response Fund”

Initiative will raise and distribute funds to local nonprofits serving older adults during the pandemic

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) today launched a COVID-19 Community Response Fund to immediately begin raising and distributing funds to hard-hit community-based organizations that are directly serving older adults during the pandemic.

The Fund will provide grants to qualified local nonprofits that are meeting the critical needs of older adults, allowing them to stay safe, secure, and healthy in their own homes during the crisis. Grants also will be provided to organizations targeting underserved populations, including women, people of color, LGBTQ, low-income, and rural individuals who are at greatest risk of being admitted to a hospital or nursing home or dying as a result of COVID-19.

“Community organizations that serve older adults are heroes on the front lines of today’s pandemic,” said Anna Maria Chávez, NCOA Interim President & CEO. “They have been historically underfunded and understaffed, but that has not stopped them from stepping up to meet the increasing needs of older adults in their communities during this crisis. Every day, they are delivering food, enrolling people into needed benefits programs, providing mental health services, and developing creative virtual programs to combat social isolation. They need our support, so they can continue supporting our older family members, friends, and neighbors.”

NCOA is looking for leading corporations, foundations, and philanthropic organizations to support local nonprofits through the Fund. To qualify for a grant, community-based organizations must be not-for-profit and non-political, and they can include senior centers, area agencies on aging, benefits counseling agencies, and others that provide direct service to older adults.

“We are facing multiple challenges, but we are committed to our mission,” said Renée Cunningham, Executive Director of Center in the Park, an NCOA-accredited senior center in Philadelphia. “For home-delivered meals, both our staff and older adults are fearful of contact, even though this service is so vital to older adults’ health. Many of our staff must learn to work virtually, and some don’t have access to the internet to continue providing services. Funding is also a concern as we’ve had to close our center.”

The NCOA COVID-19 Community Response Fund also will provide grants to organizations that are organizing and building coalitions to address the crisis; shifting resources to adapt to remote work and virtual programming; and driving awareness and action campaigns that support older adult access to health care, testing, and government relief programs.

“More than any other population, older adults have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus. If your organization is looking for a way to make a difference for them, I encourage you to support NCOA’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund,” Chávez said. “If you are a local nonprofit serving older adults, NCOA is here for you.”

For more details on the Fund, please visit www.ncoa.org/ResponseFund.

SOURCE: news release

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