United Way Of Bemidji Awards $19,500 From Emergency Fund
The Board of Directors of the United Way of Bemidji Area recently awarded $19,500 between three organizations through the United Way Emergency Fund response to the coronavirus.
The programs and projects selected represent a broad spectrum of community needs within the fund’s focus areas of food access, emergency needs, and care for the elderly and most vulnerable. Funding will be awarded on a weekly basis with immediate needs responded to within one week of applying, and secondary needs, such as fundraising shortfalls, will be reviewed at the end of April.
Meals on Wheels received their full funding request to support extra meals for seniors in the Bemidji area. The program is providing extra meals for their clients, along with distributing meals through curbside pick-up and/or delivery. Meals on Wheels is also providing an extra 14 days of meals to help their clients stay home through April 10th and reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Many of the program’s clients are low-income, frail, and isolated, with 61% of the seniors living with one or more chronic health conditions.
The Nameless Coalition for the Homeless will receive their full funding request from United Way Emergency Funds in collaboration with Village of Hope, People’s Church, Beltrami County, and Super 8 Motel. The hotel’s annexed building east of the main hotel will lodge homeless individuals in accordance with the coronavirus guidelines. The collaboration helps ensure that individuals can be isolated from one another, while also receiving the basic care they need, and help slow the spread of the virus.
United Way Emergency Funding will provide Evergreen Youth and Family Services with funds for basic necessities; including hygiene items, cleaning supplies, medical supplies, non-perishable food, activities for clients during home isolation, meals, protection gear for staff, and access to technology needs for staff to continue to provide mental health services. The organization’s full funding request was granted.
United Way’s Backpack Buddies food pack program will also receive funding as it’s designated. The program was developed to help ensure children in the Bemidji area have access to nutritious, non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food at times when other resources are not available on the weekends and holiday breaks. Backpack Buddies usually serves 450 students, but because of the increased need, is now serving over 700 children in the area.