AmeriCorps to Award up to $4 Million from American Rescue Plan for Senior Volunteer Programs
Funds will augment current AmeriCorps Seniors grants, to increase COVID-19 relief efforts and address critical community needs
WASHINGTON, D.C.— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteering, announced today it will make $4 million available to current AmeriCorps Seniors grantees to address ongoing needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These new funds are part of the $1 billion invested in national service through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Current grant recipients in the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs who are in the first two years of their three-year grant award are eligible to receive a one-time grant augmentation of at least $50,000.
AmeriCorps Seniors 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 who battle poverty, food insecurity, inequity, and other social challenges.
This round of funding will be used to expand grant-funded activities specifically focused on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, such as: contact tracing, vaccination programs, vaccination education and navigation services, and children and youth learning loss.
“Nearly 200,000 older Americans serve in their communities each year to help address challenges they see in their own neighborhoods,” said Atalaya Sergi, director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “Their service is critical to community-based organizations being able to operate and serve more stakeholders, which is so important at this time. We know the pandemic hit many of our partner organizations especially hard. These funds are our first step in ensuring organizations can reach all in need—and that all who wish to serve can —helping 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 augmentation is among the first of several steps AmeriCorps is taking to deliver these critical funds to communities in need.
Current AmeriCorps Seniors grant recipients should contact their portfolio manager to apply for these funds.
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 more than 2 million wellness checks, provided 34 million meals, collected and distributed more than 145 million pounds of food, and supervised more than 50,000 volunteers.
AmeriCorps will announce additional grant opportunities later this year—which will include distribution of additional ARP funds—to support both current and new community-based organizations in sponsoring national service programs to meet local challenges. 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.