WASHINGTON, D.C.— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, announced today it will make more than $10 million available to new AmeriCorps Seniors grantees to address ongoing needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the $1 billion invested in national service through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
This funding opportunity is open to new organizations who can demonstrate how they will engage adults ages 55 and older in impactful national service and prioritize issues such as health and wellness; education; food security; and economic opportunity.
AmeriCorps Seniors currently provides funding to more than 1,100 community, nonprofit, faith-based, and tribal organizations each year. This funding supports the administration of volunteer programs in local communities designed to serve school-aged children needing educational support; older Americans who need daily living assistance to stay in their homes; and communities that battle poverty, food insecurity, inequity, and other social challenges.
“AmeriCorps Seniors partners with local organizations to create programs that transform communities using the volunteer power of vibrant and engaged older Americans,” said Atalaya Sergi, director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “With the historic signing of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Biden Administration signaled its strong vote of confidence in the power of national service and AmeriCorps Seniors to help communities build back better.”
This effort comes as part of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021 to accelerate the country’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession. As part of that landmark legislation, $1 billion was invested in national service to increase access to service opportunities and rapidly support COVID-19 relief and vaccination efforts. This is among the first of several steps AmeriCorps is taking to deliver these critical funds to communities in need.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, AmeriCorps members and volunteers acted quickly and creatively to meet emerging public health, education, food security, and economic needs. Members and volunteers have provided COVID-19 support to more than 11.5 million Americans, including 2.5 million people at vaccination sites, conducted 1.6 million wellness checks, provided over 34 million meals, collected and distributed more than 158 million pounds of food, and supervised more than 51,000 volunteers.
Earlier this week, AmeriCorps awarded nearly $6 million, also as part of the American Rescue Plan, to current AmeriCorps Seniors organizational grantees, augmenting existing projects to address ongoing needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Future ARP investments from AmeriCorps also will support increased living allowances for members serving in AmeriCorps State and National and VISTA programs, expand access to national service opportunities, and improve the capacity of organizations to offer or create AmeriCorps service programs.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and national service, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency invests more than $800 million in grants for local nonprofit, community, tribal, and state organizations; places more than 250,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
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