Community

Agency on Aging to assist those impacted by COVID-19

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Aroostook Agency on Aging has announced a new funding opportunity to community organizations serving older adults in northern Maine.

All community members have been required to adapt to a new way of life because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, agency officials said. As older people are at high risk of complications from this virus, the agency has responded through a combination of existing and new programs and services.  

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, provided additional monies to Area Agencies on Aging across the country for various programs authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965. This funding is intended to help strengthen services that support the health, safety, and independence of older adults challenged by COVID-19. 

The Aroostook Agency on Aging has primarily used these funds to support enhanced nutrition services, as well as other programs that respond to the unique challenges of social isolation and in-home support for those at highest risk. In addition, some CARES Act funds have been set aside to support other community organizations who offer vital services to older residents living in Aroostook County. 

The agency has announced that mini awards will be distributed through a competitive application process. Organizations may apply for one-time allocations of $500 to $2,500. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2020, and successful applicants will be notified no later than August 7, 2020. 

“We know that there are many small community organizations in The County who have responded to help their older friends and neighbors during this time,” said Joy Barresi Saucier, executive director. “Our goal, through this monetary support, is to help them continue to help others and to ensure that they can maintain their infrastructure throughout this emergency situation.” 

The funding is intended for community-based organizations that serve older Mainers or their caregivers, that have: seen a significant increase in demand for services, lost revenue due to closure, lost the ability to fundraise, and/or have identified financial challenges in returning to full operations post-pandemic. Priority will be given to those applicants serving underserved populations in Aroostook County, including those older adults with the greatest social and economic need. 

“We’re so appreciative of the important work community-based organizations do to support older people in our community. Working together we always can do more than we can alone,” added Barresi Saucier. 

Interested organizations are invited to view the award guidelines (PDF) on the Agency website to learn more about eligibility, timeframe, reporting, and application format. For more information or to request award guidelines by mail, please call the Agency at 207-764-3396. 

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