LEWISTON — Lewiston-based Community Health Options, the state’s only nonprofit, member-led health insurance plan, has awarded grants to nonprofit agencies supporting Maine communities and organizations experiencing some of the most troubling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a community-based health plan, we see and hear daily how this pandemic is affecting Maine people throughout our state. We have targeted these grants to address clear and immediate needs such as food, shelter, and health,” said Kevin Lewis, president and CEO of Health Options. “We’ve also directed funds to help the state’s organic farmers continue to work and provide safe, secure, Maine-grown food. In addition, job losses and social distancing have intensified the need to help Maine people facing domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse, and our grants are meant to address these issues as well.”

Grants have been awarded to all United Way organizations groups across the state, as well as The Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine Court Appointed Advocates, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

“Thanks to a generous gift from Community Health Options, United Way of Androscoggin County is able to partner with non-profit organizations in both Androscoggin and Oxford Counties to directly assist individuals and families to meet basic needs, including food, heat, and shelter,” said Joleen Bedard, executive director of United Way of Androscoggin County. “Support from companies like Community Health Options allows us to ensure that home-bound seniors continue to receive meal deliveries, shelters keep their doors open, and children are fed in light of school closures.”

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