The latest round of grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, totaling $1 million, will go to support people experiencing food insecurity and substance-use disorders, and low-income seniors in poor health.
Kristin Romens, project director of the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services in Philadelphia, says half a million dollars will go to Philabundance and Prevention Point Philadelphia.
“One of the trends that we are seeing, really among all of our grantees, but elderly providers in particular, is a drop-off in the number of volunteers. They may be having to pay folks to do some of what volunteers used to be able to do," Romens said.
The other $500,000 dollars in grants will be split among 11 other non-profits.
Romens said another important role of these agencies right now is social outreach, because there are no places for people to gather.
“Phone calls, both from volunteers and staff members — often frequent phone calls — some organizations are literally doing daily phone calls to their clients, just to make sure they are doing okay emotionally, physically — that they have access to services," Romens said.
She says isolation is no good for the elderly, those in substance-use recovery or anyone else, so outreach provides a life line to many.
Pew awards grants quarterly throughout the year.