Volunteers package meals at SeniorsPlus in Lewiston. The SeniorsPlus Meals On Wheels program received $29,500 in funding from the United Way of Androscoggin County COVID-19 Response Fund to help meet the increased need for meals for homebound clients. Submitted photo

 

LEWISTON — United Way of Androscoggin County announced today that it awarded $49,500 in grants to 19 local agencies in Androscoggin and Oxford Counties as part of the first round of funding from the COVID-19 Response Fund.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt almost immediately by local nonprofit organizations, especially those providing food, housing, and transportation assistance in our communities. These organizations quickly found themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for these services.

United Way of Androscoggin County Executive Director Joleen Bedard said that in addition to this first round of funding, United Way continues to look at developing needs in our community. “We want to ensure that we quickly disperse the funding to agencies so we can help people most impacted by COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 Response Fund was established in mid-March to meet the short-term, immediate needs of individuals and families impacted by COVID-19, as well as the anticipated long-term impacts. The first round of funding was made possible thanks to generous donations from Maine businesses, including Central Maine Power, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Norway Savings Bank, Mechanics Savings, Oxford Federal Credit Union, as well as many individual donors.

Grant recipients from the first round of funding include:

Andover Food Pantry
Bethel Food Pantry
Bread of Life Food Pantry
Catholic Charities
Community Concepts
Grampa’s Food Pantry
Greene Baptist Church
New Beginnings
Pine Tree Legal
Rumford Group Home
Rural Community Action Ministry
SeniorsPlus
Servant’s Heart Food Pantry
St. Mary’s Nutrition Center
Sumner Food Bank
Sweden Food Pantry
The Progress Center
Trinity Jubilee Center
YWCA of Central Maine

“The United Way Response Fund has allowed us to serve people who are not eligible under the regular Meals On Wheels program. This is an extraordinary time that requires more flexibility to serve more people,” said Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president and CEO of SeniorsPlus. “Our daily client numbers are increasing by 5-10 per day and our kitchen is producing 1800 meals per day to keep ahead of demand. These funds are invaluable.”

The COVID-19 Response Fund is being replenished with additional funding from the recent Maine United telethon, held in partnership between News Center Maine and United Ways of Maine, as well as a number of generous donations. Applications for the second round of funding will be accepted until April 24. Agencies wishing to apply for funding can find the application at www.unitedwayandro.org/covid-19-response-fund-agency-application.

For more information about the Androscoggin and Oxford County COVID-19 Response Fund or to donate, please visit https://www.unitedwayandro.org/covid-19-response-information.

 


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