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Nonprofits in Maine, Arizona, and Washington receive support from COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Arlington, VA, July 21, 2020 — The National Council on Aging (NCOA), a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well, announced its first cohort of awardees for its COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

“We are grateful to be able to support the important work of community-based organizations that are keeping older adults safe and healthy during the pandemic,” said Josh Hodges, NCOA Chief Customer Officer. “Our recent survey found that 45% of local agencies had lost a great deal or quite a lot of their revenue due to the crisis. They told us they needed funding for day-to-day operations, services, and meals and nutrition programs for the older adults in their communities.”

Since COVID-19 spiked in March, the demand for aging services has jumped six-fold in some states, and a dramatic increase in food insecurity has plagued numerous regions of the country. NCOA established the COVID-19 Community Response Fund in April and immediately began raising funds for the hardest-hit community-based organizations that are directly serving older adults.

“This award to our program will make a significant impact in the lives of older adults in our community,” said Tania Seib, Executive Director, Walla Walla Senior Citizens Center, Walla Walla, WA. “Since COVID-19, our senior participants have doubled in our meal program. We are committed to serving every senior in need, and it is only with the help of awards like this that we are able to continue this essential work.”

The first round of awardees includes:

  • Legal Services for the Elderly, Augusta, ME, which will leverage general operating dollars to support over 6,000 of Maine’s low-income older adults through free legal counsel and Medicare advocacy.
  • Pinetop Lakeside Senior Center, Lakeside, AZ, which will now be able to store and distribute larger quantities of food to meet the 785 hot monthly meals they serve and the 600+ additional food boxes being delivered through their nearly contactless drop off in rural areas.
  • Walla Walla Senior Citizens Center, Walla Walla, WA, which will leverage their funding to expand a new peer-to-peer calling program, ensure meal programming continues, and provide educational materials to homebound seniors.

“Taking care of our seniors is our passion!” said Megan Rodgers, Center Manager, Pinetop Lakeside Senior Center, Lakeside, AZ. “To ensure they have access to home-cooked meals and increase their food security, we have had to think outside the box and adjust how we operate. This has included serving curbside meals, diligence in sanitation, frozen to-go meals, and offering free breakfast food boxes. These much-needed funds will help us increase our capacity and serve the needs of our community.”

NCOA is continuing to build support for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. A new call for proposals will be scheduled later in 2020. For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org/ResponseFund.

The COVID-19 Community Response Fund is sponsored in part by The Pfizer Foundation.

About The Pfizer Foundation
The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.